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Public information bulletin for Aitutaki

Thursday 18 February 2010 | Published in Regional

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This Aitutaki public information bulletin was approved for release yesterday by mayor Tai Herman and Emergencyh Management Cook Islands:

The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed a 12-member engineering detachment to Aitutaki and they have been tasked to assist the Aitutaki Emergency Operations Centre and island administration with immediate response and relief needs

The Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules C130 will be doing relief flights with additional supplies for government as well as Red Cross.

Drinking water is now available at the Red Cross at Arutanga. Please bring your CLEAN containers.

Red Cross is today distributing the tarpaulins and tents that arrived yesterday. Tarps are being distributed island wide and the tents have started at Vaipai and Tautu and will continue from there.

The NZDF is helping the Red Cross with tent installation.

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

Water is being restored to about 90% of the island presently. However, this water is not fit for drinking.

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

A water treatment plant supplied by Red Cross Australia has arrived in Aitutaki today. Fresh potable water is expected to be available within the next 24hrs.

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

Electricity is being restored along the main grid as a priority.

NZDF is assisting with the repairs to electrical problems at the hospital and other critical facilities.

There are additional electricians from Raro here to assist Aitutaki Power with home connections.

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.

Communities have undertaken clean-up actions around their properties and villages.

We commend and support the community with the excellent way they have responded to this disaster.

Members of the community are asked to stack roofing iron that has been blown off so that Council can collect this for proper disposal.

An Agency Coordination Meeting was to be held at the Aitutaki Island Administration building at 7pm last night (Wednesday).

Members of public are encouraged to pass information through the Aitutaki EOC located at the Aitutaki Island Administration. The contact numbers are: 31015, 31007, 31700.

Members of public are discouraged from burning rubbish as the environment is very dry and there is a high possibility of fire hazard.