Mast-er stroke: AM radio station turned off

Friday August 09, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Project engineer Esben Torget scales the Matavera Radio AM mast. 19080815 Project engineer Esben Torget scales the Matavera Radio AM mast. 19080815

Engineer Esben Torget climbed 30 metres up Matavera’s rusty AM radio mast yesterday, in a nerve-wracking survey before beginning the project to dismantle it.

 

At midnight on Monday, the AM radio station 630khz, that had provided the Cooks’ 15 islands with a national radio service, was turned off for the last time.

The loss of that station has raised concern about alerting the Pa Enua during natural disasters, but government is working to roll out better FM and internet solutions to help manage the risk.

The children and teachers of Takitumu primary school, underneath the teetering mast, were relocated in June, for their own safety.

Contractors Rarotonga Welding will first reinforce the bottom of the mast, before they can begin dismantling the top. Additional engineering equipment is being shipped in next week.

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