Aitutaki as of yesterday just after 12 noon. RASHNEEL KUMAR / 24020512 / 24020511
The weather warning that was in force for the northern waters of the Southern Cooks is now cancelled.
The public is advised to remain vigilant as the Southern Cook Islands was set to feel the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Nat (N-E-T) as it was expected to have affected Aitutaki and Mauke last night.
Now a category 2 cyclone, TC Nat expected impacts, according to the weather office, include isolated damage to tree branches, and some houses of light materials or unshielded structures in exposed communities.
Poor visibility is expected for motorists in areas of
River and flash flooding of low lying and flood prone
areas is expected.
There is a high risk of sea travel for all crafts.
Risky, hazardous breaking waves, and possible coastal
inundation along low lying coastal areas, are also expected.
As of yesterday, Cook Islands Meteorological Service confirmed that tropical depression - TD06f was upgraded to a category one cyclone and later this morning a category 2.
last night, most islands in the Southern Group would have experienced strong
winds of up to 40 kilometres an hour, and high seas.
office operational observer Nathan Tisam said Aitutaki, Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke
would experience the brunt of TC Nat in the coming days.
Sunday, Palmerston Island was already experiencing stronger winds and high seas
with Aitutaki feeling the effects late last night as the category 1 system passed
north west of the island.
said global models picked up TC Nat tracking in a south-easterly direction
heading towards Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke by early hours of Wednesday morning.
and the Ngaputoru group are expected to experience gale force (63-87 km/h)
winds, and coastal inundation associated with the rough seas.”
TC Pat was the last cyclone to come through Cook Islands and that was in 2010
whereby Aitutaki was affected.
meteorological office had already predicted that Cook Islands would have up to
three cyclones for the season, but especially during the El Nino event.
Cook Islands is historically susceptible to tropical cyclones like in the
case of the 2005 season when TC Meena, Nancy, Olaf, Percy and Rae passed
through the Cooks.
always, the public are advised to remain vigilant during these times. Have back
up food and water supplies ready in case of emergency and secure houses and any
items that can act as projectiles during strong wind events. Phone books will
have emergency contacts as well as evacuation centres and a TC Tracking map.”
Authority Cook Islands chief executive Nikau Tangaroa said as of yesterday,
Aitutaki Airport and Rarotonga Airport were operating- business as usual.
said they had their team monitoring the situation pertaining to TC Nat and
would advise accordingly.