Tropical storm no threat

Tuesday February 26, 2019 Written by Published in Weather

A tropical depression (TD11F) located near Western Samoa yesterday poses no threat to the Cook Islands, says the top weatherman.



Arona Ngari, the director of Cook Islands Meteorological Service, said the system was located west of Upolu and moving at about six knots.

Close to its centre, he said TD11F was carrying an average wind of about 30 knots.

“There is no indication of the system intensifying,” Ngari said.

“For the Cook Islands, there is an anticyclone to the east of New Zealand that will tend to restrict the movement of TD11F towards south and south west. “TD11F is not a threat to the Cook Islands. If the system gets close to us, the side effect would be some rain and northerly winds.”

Earlier this month, the region was threatened by Severe Tropical Cyclone Oma which started strengthening, intensifying into a tropical cyclone on February 11.

The system was then strengthened into a severe tropical cyclone on February 15, reaching its initial peak intensity later that day.

According to data it then started weakening on February 17 for a small period until it got upgraded to a severe tropical cyclone again and reached its peak intensity on February 19.

“It exited the South Pacific and entered back into the Australian region as a tropical cyclone on February 21. On February 22, Tropical Cyclone Oma crossed over into the South Pacific basin once again. Late on February 22, Oma transitioned into a subtropical cyclone, while turning to the northeast.”

According to a report by Radio New Zealand, TC Oma destroyed as many as 30 houses and caused extensive damage to crops in Vanuatu’s northern provinces.

The cyclone also caused damage to parts of Solomon Islands and there were concerns for food security and health in some southern provinces.

Meanwhile Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) director Charles Carlson urged people to prepare themselves for the cyclone season.

In an earlier interview with CI News, Carlson said: “Disaster risk management, which includes preparedness, is everyone’s responsibility not EMCI or government alone.

“This is cyclone season and everyone is expected to start preparing.

“It is great to see people tying down their houses, especially the old houses that are vulnerable to strong winds and cyclones – however, I still see old houses not being tied down.”

Carlson said EMCI was working closely with the 10 puna (villages) on Rarotonga to ensure they have their organisation and structures in place during cyclones to assist the response as required.

Cook Islands is expected to face two to three named cyclones in this cyclone season which ends in April. 

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