1 Mar 2005

Cook Islands police report one person missing after cyclone hits northern group

7:25 am on 1 March 2005

One person is missing in the Cook Islands northern island of Pukapuka, in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Percy.

600 residents on Pukapuka, and 40 people on Nassau are still sheltering in schools and church buildings, after heavy rain and sea surges badly damaged virtually every home on both islands.

Police superintendent, Tai Isamaela, says there's growing concern for a missing resident on Pukapuka.

"The last time that he was seen was yesterday between one and two pm, and he's never been seen since. This morning they have made searches around the island and the beaches yesterday and throughout the night but he could not be found."

Meanwhile, a New Zealand Airforce Orion has been asked to conduct and aerial survey of the damage on Pukapuka and Nassau.