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Forecasters attend course

Thursday 20 October 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in National, Weather

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Forecasters attend course
Thirty people from Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Niue and Kiribati were hosted in Rarotonga for a meteorological marine service course. - 22101231

Cook Islands hosted a meteorological marine service course for Pacific Island nations to enhance forecasters capability to predict destructive events.

Meteorological director Arona Ngari said 30 people from Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Niue and Kiribati were hosted.

People facilitating the workshop came from Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. 

The workshop ran for 10 days from September 27 to October 5.

The workshop looked at case studies in the last five years, like Cyclone Gita that affected Tonga in early 2018 and the Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami.

“For us it was the events that affected the Southern part of Rarotonga in early July, so by looking at the event we need to put in an early warning system that advise communities of how they can actually get these messages, let alone how they can prepare themselves through evacuation procedures,” Ngari said.

He said the course was also looking at how a marine service could be provided to local fishing charters and to the flying fish fisherman who went out at night.

Ngari said small Pacific states had the challenge of working with small budgets.

“Sometimes the budget is not enough to pick up these (weather) models from super computers from big countries so we’re trying to find out how we can actually accommodate that as a group rather than as an individual basis.”