27 Feb 2005

Tokelau assess damage from Cyclone Percy

9:47 am on 27 February 2005

Tokelau is now assessing the full extent of the damage to its three atolls, caused by Tropical Cyclone Percy.

Last night, the cyclone caused severe flooding in low lying coastal areas, and hurricane force winds damaged houses, uprooted trees and brought down power lines.

Telecommunications have been cut to the atolls of Fakaofo and Atafu.

The general manager of Telecommunications Tokelau, Tino Vitale, described the damaged on Nukunonu atoll.

"Houses on the shoreline have been damaged or pulled down, families have been evacuated to more solid structured accommodation. The bridge that bridged the two settlements on Nukunonu at both ends is actually not looking very nice, and the power cable has been separated from the bridge."

Tino Vaitale says there have been no reports of injuries or deaths so far.

The cyclone is now moving away from the Tokelau island group, and heading towards American Samoa, where it is expected to pass over Swains Island tonight.

Cyclone Percy is the fourth violent storm to hit the Pacific region in a month.