11 Feb 2005

Damage assessment for outer islands in Cook Islands set to take place

1:47 pm on 11 February 2005

An official damage assessment team in the Cook islands will embark from Rarotonga tomorrow for outer islands hit by Tropical Cyclone Meena.

The team will assess the damage caused by Meena in the outer islands of Aitutaki, Mauke and Managaia, and will return with a report expected to be tabled to the government early next week.

New Zealand's High Commissioner in Rarotonga says he has met the Cook Islands Prime Minister and members of cabinet and discuss how New Zealand can assist in damage assessment and reconstruction.

Kurt Meyer says at this point, they've established that the most critical damage in Rarotonga was sustained around the Harbour and wharf area.

He says attention now turns to assessing the outer islands...

"There is an assessment team leaving from Rarotonga tomorrow morning. A member of the New Zealand High Commission staff will be part of that team and will be looking at what damage has been caused on those islands, and come back with an assessment report and that will be submitted to the Cook Islands government. From that the overall damage assessment will be made."