10 Feb 2004

Southern Cook Islands will need thousands to repair storm damaged harbours

5:10 pm on 10 February 2004

Two wharves in the southern Cook Islands will need extensive and costly repairs after being hit by huge waves last month.

Up to 174-thousand US dollars may have to be spent to repair the damage done by Cyclone Heta's huge seas to the harbours at Mauke and Mangaia islands.

The secretary to the Mangaia government, Tua Ine Tuara, says the barge which ferries between the island and ships anchored at sea, is having to load and unload in a tiny part of the harbour which is still able to be used.

"You cannot unload cargo as it is. I mean, you can, on a little bit of a part of the harbour, which means taking all day and maybe two days to load the boat. And also, because you know the broken walls and the concrete that's been washed off? The harbour is now shallow so it needs a lot of excavating."

Ms Tuara says it's hoped the harbour will be restored by June.