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Four tsunami sirens not working

Tuesday 8 November 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National

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Four tsunami sirens not working
A tsunami evacuation sign in Rarotonga. TRAVEL TOUR GUIDE/21102942

Four out of 17 tsunami sirens are not working but should be operational by February or March next year, says the director of Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI).

EMCI boss, John Strickland said Super Brown Tupapa, Apii Te Uki Ou and Infrastructure Cook Islands’ sirens were not working because of rust.

Tikioki siren was also not in operation because it was on a private residence and the family complained it was too loud when it was on, Strickland said.

“We’ve been working on the upgrade to improve that system, unfortunately, there are cost factors involved.”

Strickland said the upgrade would be based on the availability of funding. He did not disclose how expensive the replacement and upgrade would be.

Strickland said he wanted to upgrade the system so all sirens could be switched on and controlled from the Emergency Management Cook Islands office.

He said the normal or below-normal cyclone risk to the country in the 2022/23 cyclone season from November to April 2023 gave him “the confidence to continue the procurement of this equipment and work towards instalments and ensure operational by early next year”.

Meanwhile, the World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed on Saturday and Strickland called for people to “take heed” of authorities’ warnings.

EMCI is putting out an ad campaign on what to do in a tsunami and where the warnings will come from.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is advocating for reducing tsunami risk globally through increasing access to early warning systems.

“Prevention is better than cure,” Strickland earlier said. “People tend to think when something happens elsewhere we don’t get effected. That has been proven wrong, we do face some experiences of these happenings out there worldwide.”