4 Feb 2008

Vanuatu officials still unclear on extent of cyclone damage

4:50 pm on 4 February 2008

Vanuatu's assistant secretary general of Tafea Province says it has not been able to contact anyone on Aneityum island, in the wake of Cyclone Gene.

Dick Mete says the worst affected islands were the southern islands of Futuna and Aneityum.

He says damage reports indicate crops and food gardens were completely destroyed on Futuna, and the island suffered extensive damage to infrastructure.

"We had report from Futuna Island. And it's been badly hit by the cyclone. Local houses went down - about 12 houses. And then we have some permanent buildings [which had] ripped off the roofs."

Dick Mete says thankfully so far there have been no reports of injuries or deaths as a result of the cyclone.

He says its hoped a chartered flight carrying officials will be able to clearly assess the damage on Aneityum.