6 Jan 2003

Confidence that Anuta island may not have suffered extensive cyclone damage

5:28 pm on 6 January 2003

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Council is confident that Anuta Island was not as extensively damaged as neighbouring Tikopia when Cyclone Zoe struck nine days ago.

The cyclone with winds estimated at up to 350 kilometres an hour destroyed entire villages, crops and much of the vegetation on Tikopia.

Emergency teams have now made a preliminary assessment on Tikopia after the arrival in the past day of two boats carrying relief supplies.

The Chairman of the Disaster Council Caspar Fa'asala says that assessment shows the people are generally healthy and happy and have enough food for about two weeks.

He says the team leader Dr Herman Oberli also reports the island's medical centre is intact though it requires some minor repairs.

Mr Fa'asala says one of the two boats at Tikopia, the Auki, is to be sent to Anuta, probably this evening.

He says they expect fewer problems there.

"Reports that we receive is that Anuta is not as so much serious as been experienced on Tikopia so we are assuming that despite some delays we are anticipating that the situation in Anuta should be okay in terms of any serious damages."

Casper Fa'asala