Cyclone ITA: Recovery Costs Up to K5million

A total of five million kina is needed for immediate response and early recovery actions in the cyclone hit areas of Milne Bay Province.

The National Disaster Office made this recommendation from assessment of damage done to four LLGs in the Samarai Murua electorate by Cyclone Ita.

The weather office has also issued early warnings of El Nino in the next 3 to 6 months’ time.

Cyclone Ita which entered the waters of PNG at Category 1 and developed into Category 3 caused some damage in the Samarai Murua electorate before moving into Australian waters and developing into Category Five.

The damage now has been estimated to millions affecting more than 54, 000 people.

Houses and food gardens have been destroyed while water sources have been contaminated.

Andrew Oeago from the National Disaster Office says an Ariel assessment was done to establish the extent of the damage and the cost was estimated at K5 million.

School children are yet to resume classes and this is one of the immediate needs of the islanders not mentioning food, shelter, water containers to store water and mosquito nets.

Long term needs include food and water security for the islanders, build shelters that could withstand cyclones and effective communication.

The importance of communication was identified after the weather office in Port Moresby sent early cyclone warning’s to its station in Misima a day before the cyclone, but due to communication problems, the message never reached the islanders with the cyclone taking them by surprise.

Sam Maiha from the National weather office on a related subject said cyclones were catalysts to El Ninos and the country should expect a long dry season in the coming months although the country is still in the El Nino Watch state.

He also said the highlands region should also expect frost and drought during this period.

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