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.
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.”