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New Aitutaki info bulletin

Friday 19 February 2010 | Published in Regional

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This Aitutaki public information bulletin was released at 5pm on Thursday 18 February and approved by Aitutaki mayor Tai Herman and the Emergency Management Cook Islands.

Drinking water is now available at the Red Cross stationed in Arutanga. Please bring your clean containers.

At a meeting with deputy prime minister Robert Wigmore, the DPM endorsed work done to date and indicated additional support is coming from government and partners.

Red Cross is (yesterday) distributing the tarpaulins and tents, so far they have distributed over 600 tarps and over 30 tents.

Members of the public are asked to assist the Red Cross and NZDF with this very essential task. Please contact the Red Cross or the Aitutaki Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to register as a volunteer.

Piped water is being restored. However , this water is not fit for drinking.

Members of the public are asked to BOIL all water to be used for drinking purposes.

The Red Cross water treatment plant is operational and pumping CLEAN treated water.

A truck has been assigned to Red Cross by EOC for carting water.

Members of the public are asked to contact the Aitutaki EOC or go personally with your containers to the Red Cross Base at the Court House, Vaimaru, Arutanga, regarding drinking water supply and refilling.

Electricity is being restored as a priority. All substations have now been repaired, 55 percent of lines are restored and 40 percent of homes now have electricity.

Members of public are asked NOT to touch any wires lying around as these may be live.

Members of public are asked to have an electrician verify their homes before switching on the power as this may cause an electrical fire if not done properly.

Please contact EOC (at Aitutaki Administration Building) for assistance of an electrician to check your homes.

All roads have been cleared and we are now focusing on getting the roofing iron to storage as well as trimming any leaning trees.

Members of the community are asked to stack damaged roofing iron to be collected for proper disposal.

Red Cross has offered chainsaws for use by the community. Chainsaws with operators are also available.

Please register at the Red Cross office in Vaimaru, Arutanga, for a chainsaw as they are limited in number.

A meeting of shop owners in Aitutaki was held today with the Ministry of Finance to reassure and provide them with a proper purchasing and accountable process for procurement during this disaster.

A meeting was also held with the DPM and Minister of Health. The DPM assured the people of Aitutaki that government will support and assist in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Aitutaki.

We now have daily coordination meetings at the Aitutaki Island Administration at 7pm. All agencies working in Aitutaki must attend these meetings to share vital progress information.

Members of public are encouraged to pass information through the Aitutaki EOC located at the Aitutaki Island Administration.

The contact numbers are: 31015, 31007 and 31700.

We have over 50 volunteers from the outer islands here to help with the response and clean up of Aitutaki. We are thankful for their assistance.

We also acknowledge the family members who have flown in to help rebuild their family homes here on Aitutaki.

We also acknowledge the hard work of the Red Cross volunteers tirelessly working in the community to ensure everyone is safe.

Meals and accommodation have been arranged for volunteers by the island administration and Aitutaki EOC.

EOC has tasked the NZDF to focus on repairs to the schools, starting with Araura primary and college as well as Vaiau primary. NZAID will fund the materials and we are working with Cook Islands Investment Corporation.