4 Aug 2011

SPC says Cook Islands has suffered millions of dollars from cyclone damage

7:18 am on 4 August 2011

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community estimates the Cook Islands has suffered 47 million US dollars worth of damage caused by cyclones since 1955.

The SPC's director of applied geoscience and technology division, Dr Russell Howorth, says the most recent cyclone to hit the Cook Islands with considerable force caused about 8.2 million US dollars worth of damage alone.

Cyclone Pat struck Aitutaki in February last year, damaging 78 percent of the island's buildings.

The Cook Islands News reports Dr Howorth as saying the 8.2 million dollars estimate excludes loss of employment and tax revenue.

In remarks at this week's meeting for disaster risk management in Auckland, Dr Howorth cited the Cook Islands' continuing vulnerability to cyclone damage while arguing the need for an international approach to natural disasters in the Pacific.