Warning cause of confusion

Monday September 11, 2017 Written by Published in Local

A tsunami warning yesterday caused alarm and confusion among some Rarotonga Rarotonga residents.


In a text message sent to mobile phone owners shortly after midnight, the Cook Islands Police Service said a tsunami generated from an 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Mexico, with 0.3 metres to 1m waves, would reach the Cook Islands by 6am yesterday.

The message advised people living in low lying coastal areas to take precautions. It also listed numbers to call for information, but some residents who phoned them to find out more about the tsunami danger, complained to CI News yesterday that no-one had answered.

The Cook Islands Meteorological Services issued the first tsunami warning at 8.30pm on Thursday night on their Facebook page, followed by a number of bulletins.

“People in low-lying coastal areas and local waters are advised to take precautions to safeguard their properties and lives, including small sailing vessels that are anchored in harbors and ports,” their bulletin read.

“Waves of this size can cause significant coastal impact thus extra care is needed. Operators of bigger vessels could move into deeper waters as a precaution.”

However, there was no answer from any of the contact phone numbers provided by the Met Office between 1am to 4am yesterday. Later, police confirmed there would be no tsunami impact in the outer islands and Rarotonga.

In a statement, police said they would continue to maintain low-level monitoring.

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