2 Mar 2005

The Cook Islands of Pukapuka and Nassau will have to wait for supplies

2:20 pm on 2 March 2005

The people of Pukapuka and Nassau in the northern Cook Islands will have to wait until the end of the week to receive emergency supplies after Cyclone Percy.

This is despite them clearing the airport runway and asking for a flight to be made.

Chief Inspector Teroi John Tini of the Emergency Operations Centre says Pukapuka contacted them today and asked for the New Zealand Airforce Hercules, which was in Rarotonga, to fly directly there.

But, he says the Hercules is flying to Penrhyn and a boat will then take the fresh water, food, tarpaulins and other supplies to the two islands.

Chief Inspector Tini says a decision was made not to fly directly to Pukapuka.

"The pilot was reluctant to land the aircraft on Pukapuka. The reason being - he had an experience before where he had some difficulties when he tried to take off."

Chief inspector Teroi John Tini.

A total of 640 people on Pukapuka and Nassau were left with only rudimentary shelter following the cyclone.