Cyclone Ita Does Approximately $1.75 Million Damage In PNG

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Immediate needs include food, shelter, water, mosquito nets, tools

By Konopa Kana

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 24, 2014) – It would cost the government about K5 million [US$1.75 million] to restore facilities and services destroyed by tropical cyclone Ita, caused says the National Disaster Centre.

Assistant director Andrew Oaego said that this estimate is part of the reports received after conducting an onsite initial disaster assessment.

Mr Oaego said the initial disaster assessment was conducted one week after the Cyclone Ita struck the Milne Bay Islands, destroying food gardens, contaminating water and demolishing houses, mainly in Sudest Islands in the Yeleamba Rural Local Level Government.

He said the immediate needs of the people would be food, shelter, water, mosquito nets, building tools and upgraded communication infrastructure.

Mr Oaego said the long term impact will be the security issues of food and water and building of infrastructure like houses that can withstand cyclones in the future.

He said about 57 bales of rice have been given to the Ware Islands while the recovery process continues on the affected parts of the island.

Mr Oaego said Digicel Foundation has also confirmed that they are willing to assist in providing relief supplies like water containers and water purification tablets to the areas that have had their water contaminated.

He said the initial disaster assessment was conducted by the centre with the hiring of the helicopter and the recommendation of relief supplies that would suit the humanitarian needs of the affected population of the remote islands.

PNG Defencee Force liaison officer Major John Henry Bindie said a report has been prepared to brief the head of the force to be able to send landing crafts with relief supplies to the isolated islands in Samarai-Murua District.

Maj Bindie confirmed that in the next day or two the Defence Force will respond upon the advice of the hierarchy.

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