15 Feb 2010

US$1.8 millions worth of supplies bought to help Aitutaki in the Cook Islands post Cyclone Pat

11:36 am on 15 February 2010

The Cook Islands government says it has bought about 1.8 million US dollars worth of relief supplies, which are to be transported to the cyclone-hit island of Aitutaki tomorrow.

New Zealand is sending an Airforce Hercules to the Cook Islands this afternoon with relief supplies and defence force personnel to help with the recovery.

The plane will arrive in Rarotonga tonight and make several trips to transport supplies from the Cook Islands and New Zealand governments to Aitutaki tomorrow.

About 90 percent of homes on the island have sustained some damage.

The Finance Minister, Wilkie Rasmussen, who is co-ordinating the government's cyclone response, says they identified what the needs are after visiting Aitutaki last week.

"One the power, two shelter for people and three of course this issues in relation to food supplies, and cleaning up the island."

Wilkie Rasmussen says the fourth phase will be the reconstruction of damaged buildings.