8 Feb 2005

Cook Islands cabinet being briefed on extent of damage caused by Cyclone Meena

10:50 am on 8 February 2005

The Cook Islands cabinet is currently being briefed on the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Meena.

The deputy police commissioner and the team from the National Emergency Operations centre are providing an initial assessment of the impact of the cyclone on Aitutaki, Rarotonga and Mangaia.

None of the islands, which were in the path of the cyclone, received a direct hit, but two schools on Aitutaki are closed today after roofs were blown off, several roofs on houses were also damaged and people are being told to boil water as it is contaminated.

Five houses on the southernmost island of Mangaia were also destroyed after being hit by the high winds, reported to be gusting at up to 250 kilometres an hour at the cyclone's centre.

And, several commercial buildings in Rarotonga's main town, Avarua, suffered extensive damage.

Crews are also at work on the three islands to clear up the debris caused by falling trees on roads.