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Cyclone Mike leaves little damage

Thursday March 20, 2014 Written by Published in Weather
Earlier in the week, powerful winds lifted the roof of this shelter clean off at the cemetery in Panama on Rarotonga. 14031708 Earlier in the week, powerful winds lifted the roof of this shelter clean off at the cemetery in Panama on Rarotonga. 14031708

Apart from blowing off part of a roof in Aitutaki, Tropical Cyclone Mike caused little damage as it passed quickly through the Southern Cooks, authorities say.  

 The category one cyclone was already well south of Mangaia and Rarotonga by yesterday afternoon but a strong wind warning remained in force.
Cook Islands Police Service activated its Emergency Operations Centre at 10pm on Tuesday and logged all reports of damage from the cyclone.
Superintendent Aka Matapo said the most serious report was from Aitutaki, where one house had part of its roof blown off. The home belongs to a local police officer but no one was inside at the time.
Matapo said the powerful winds toppled some trees and threw debris around on the island.
A few power lines were damaged in Atiu but there were no other reports of damage in the outer islands, he said.  
“There was nothing serious in Rarotonga apart from we closed the road at the seawall (in Nikao) from 11:05pm Tuesday until 6:20am Wednesday. The waves were coming up onto the road,” Matapo said.
High seas washed debris up over the road at Avarua Wharf and police called on Infrastructure Cook Islands and the Fire Service to clean it up.
Matapo said the cyclone brought much-needed rain for Rarotonga.
“I think there are a lot of blessings for us. We got some rain – that’s what we needed more than anything else.”

He praised the community for its quick response to the cyclone announcement and the way businesses erected their window shutters.

“Sometimes being overcautious is good.” 
Otheniel Tangianau, director of the Pa Enua Division at the Prime Minister’s Office, also reported that Cyclone Mike had little impact on the outer islands.
He said Mangaia suffered no damage apart a few fallen trees and Aitutaki had high winds but no serious consequences.
Cook Islands Meteorological Service Director Arona Ngari said he was happy to advise that there are no more threatening low pressure systems in the region for now.
“There are convergence zones and trough lines that will give cloud build-ups and gusty conditions and rain but only in localized areas. This rules out any threatening systems for the Cook Islands.”
As of 3:30pm yesterday, a strong wind warning remained in force for all the Southern Cook Islands.

Fiji Meteorological Centre said Tropical Cyclone Mike was weakening as it headed in a south-southeast direction, at a speed of 23 knots.

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