Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown. PIFS / 23080719
A large crowd gathered at the National Auditorium on Sunday for the annual Cyclone Season Prayer Service, as two to three named cyclones are expected to pass through the Cook Islands this tropical cyclone season.
Minister Mark Brown, who attended the prayer service, emphasised the importance
of preparedness in the face of the impending cyclone season.
a statement issued after the prayer service, Brown highlighted the Pacific
region’s recent experience with three cyclones in the last one to two months
and urged people to be vigilant.
cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30, and the Religious Advisory
Council holds the annual prayer service each year to unite different church
denominations “to give glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.
stated that the Cook Islands Meteorological Service has predicted a high risk
of cyclones this season, with two or three expected to affect the islands.
February 2024 is anticipated to be particularly active, with most cyclones
likely occurring during that month.
Cook Islands is also expected to experience less rainfall in the Southern Pa
Enua and more rainfall in the Northern Pa Enua. 2023 is already the hottest
year on record, with average temperatures up over 1.2 degrees Celsius. El Niño
occurrence has also been confirmed and may well be the strongest on record, say
Prime Minister emphasised the need for comprehensive disaster preparedness
procedures and protocols in the face of extreme weather events linked to
noted that the Pacific Islands Forum leaders, who met in Rarotonga last week,
agreed on the need for a fossil-free Pacific as a global action to address
Cook Islands is one of 14 countries across the Pacific region where leaders
have expressed their common and collective view that we are facing a climate
also share the opinion that the global community must act urgently to avert
humanitarian disasters as a result of increased extreme events, such as more
severe cyclones, high- intensity periods of heavy rainfall periods and droughts
that cause crop failures.
this era of climate change it is more important than ever for us to continue
our national investment in resilience measures and enduring infrastructure
projects that can withstand whatever is thrown at them.”
year Cook Islands marked the 25th anniversary of Martin, the
deadliest tropical cyclone of the 1997-1998 South Pacific Cyclone season.
PM Brown said: “What had started as a slight tropical disturbance a few days earlier on October 27, 1997, after it was officially named, Cyclone Martin tore through Pukapuka, Nassau, Rakahanga and Manihiki, causing absolute devastation and sadly the loss of 19 precious lives.”
“Cyclone Martin and the many other tropical cyclones that have impacted our nation in the years since, have taught us that there is no room for complacency when it comes to being prepared for the coming cyclone season.”