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Wednesday 7 February 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands, Weather


Pa Enua calm with no reported damage
All was calm and good in Rakahanga yesterday morning (6th February 2024). PC: APOLONARI PIHO/24020606

The Gale warning previously in force for all waters to the north of the Sourthern Cooks was cancelled yesterday, issued by the Cook Islands Meteorological Services (CIMS).

However, as of yesterday at 3.30pm the strong wind warning remained in force for land areas of Aitutaki and Mauke Islands and waters to the north of Southern Cooks.

On Mauke there was some rain and a bit of wind “but, that was it, no damages at all,” said a resident.

And it was business as usual in Aitutaki.

On Monday, the Northern Cooks were warned to expect sea flooding of coastal areas especially during high tides, westerly winds 20 to 30 knots and rough to very rough seas.

Tetautua School students in Penrhyn will continue to be taught in the ‘Te Papa o Savaiki Tere’ Cyclone Shelter for a week or two until the power outage at the school has been repaired.

Apii Napa, Principal of the Penrhyn Schools – Omoka and Tetautua said yesterday (Tuesday) that all was well on the island and that the sea flooding around the school had almost dried out.

On Monday morning, with the support from government workers, parents and the community, resources were moved from Tetautua school to the shelter.

Napa acknowledged the Ministry of Education Finance Director the “for responding promptly and supporting the decision to move the school.”

She said that the school is built in a flood prone area and flooding at the school has been an ongoing issue.

Moehano Rasmussen Takai, is the Tetautua school teacher in charge of the school of nine students in Years 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

“This time we are going to address this… because it gets tiring when no one is listening…,” said Napa.

She said that the Ministry of Education, CIIC and our Government need to seriously address this problem, or move the school so that they are not having to cart things around and there is less disruption for their kids.

“This is not quality education and I feel for the children of Tetautua School who have come and gone, and those who are still here today…,” said Napa.

“We will most probably move back into the school next Monday,” she added.

Yesterday on Manihiki, there had been wind and rain but all was well.

“At the moment we are quite safe,” said Jean Marie Williams, Te Marae Ora Senior Health Inspector.

He said every morning the road is cleared of kikau fronds and rubbish and the individuals do their part.

“These are the worrying times that starts in October,” said Williams.

He explained the lagoon side of Manihiki is the lee side, when the high seas come it comes from the ocean side.

“We have been trained during cyclone season, “te tuatau katikati maikuku” (gnawing your nails).”

Currently there is no petrol or gas to buy, but people have their supplies at home, and the boat is scheduled to arrive next month.

“We have plenty of fish, and with the rain we have had we have lots of water,” said Williams.

Forty-two kilometres south of Manihiki, lies its sister island Rakahanga which is one of the most isolated islands of the Cook Islands.

The only way to get to Rakahanga is by boat from Manihiki.

Apolonari Piho, the agent on Manihiki for Vodafone Cook Islands said they had tied down people’s houses and that there was no damage.

“Everything is calm here,” said Piho.