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
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
“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,”
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
The only way to get to Rakahanga is by boat from
Apolonari Piho, the agent on Manihiki for Vodafone
Cook Islands said they had tied down people’s houses and that there was no