THREE DEAD AND 20 MISSING IN COOK ISLANDS FROM

admin's picture

CYCLONE MARTIN

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (November 4, 1997 - PACNEWS)---A search is continuing for at least 20 persons still missing in the Cook Islands after the most severe cyclone in memory struck the Polynesian nation over the weekend.

Cyclone Martin unexpectedly smashed into the remote northern atoll of Manihiki with winds of up to 96 miles per hour and 12 foot waves.

Besides the 20 persons still missing, three people, including a baby, are confirmed dead as a result of a huge wave sweeping through the village of Tahuna. Fourteen others have been flown to the capital island of Rarotonga for medical treatment.

An estimated 90 percent of the houses on Manihiki are gone and it is feared that the lucrative black pearl farms surrounding the atoll have been destroyed, which would be a crippling blow to the troubled Cook Islands economy.

A New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft is assisting with relief operations.

Meantime, the cyclone alert for the Cook Islands has been canceled and replaced with a strong wind warning.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment