9 Jun 2005

Northern Cook islands atoll of Pukapuka rebuilding homes destroyed by cyclone

10:46 am on 9 June 2005

The mayor of Pukapuka in the northern Cook Islands says most people have now returned to live in their own homes after a successful rebuilding effort.

Nearly a third of the island's population of 6-hundred and 40 were forced to seek shelter with neighbours or relatives after Cyclone Percy hit at the end of February, causing widespread destruction.

Nearby Nassau and Palmerston were also badly damaged in its wake.

Pukapuka's mayor, Tere Mataio, says a team has been on the atoll to help with construction and to restore the roofs to damaged homes.

"I think there's only six to seven more houses to be completed. The only problem - they run short of materials, building materials like roofing iron and other timbers. They run short of it. They're waiting for the boat to arrive so that they can finish those left-over homes."

Mr Mataio says the construction of three cyclone shelters will begin when the boat, which leaves Rarotonga next week, arrives with the additional building materials.