12 Feb 2010

Cooks police say Aitutaki beginning to recover from cyclone shock

11:58 am on 12 February 2010

The emergency base operations centre in the Cook Islands says the spirits of the people on Aitutaki are starting to pick up following the shock of yesterdays devastating cyclone.

Cyclone Pat, with winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour, damaged about 80 percent of houses on the island.

It also wrecked parts of the island's infrastructure, up-rooting trees and ruining crops.

Sergeant Pa Va'inerere, at the emergency centre, says the state of emergency has been called off for Rarotonga, although they are still on cyclone watch.

He says a state of disaster remains in force for Aitutaki as the clean-up continues.

"The spirits of the people are starting to come back to normal after the shock of yesterday's disaster. We had nine persons injured but all the injuries were all minor injuries and all the patients have been treated and discharged. Right now the island is undergoing clearance of access ways to the main roads and areas where people are residing."

Sergeant Pa Va'inerere.

The islands of Nassau and Pukapuka in the Northern Cook Islands are currently experiencing strong winds from another cyclone, Rene, situated just south-west of the islands.

Sergeant Pa Va'inerere says the islands have been well prepared for cyclones for three weeks and no damage has been reported.