1 Mar 2005

The clean up begins in cyclone battered northern Cooks

7:40 pm on 1 March 2005

The people of Pukapuka and Nassau in the northern Cook Islands have begun the clean up after being battered by Cyclone Percy.

The 40 people on Nassau had been sheltering in a church, which itself had been damaged, after the storm tore off roofs or flooded all other buildings on the island.

There was similar damage on Pukapuka where just a handful of buildings could be used to shelter the 600 people there.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Ma'ara Tetava, from the Emergency Operations Centre, says when the weather eased today the people of Pukapuka began cleaning up the debris on the roads.

He thinks some residents should be able to start moving back home later this week.

"'But it may take a longer period of time to carry out the repairs which may mean getting supplies from Rarotonga."