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Rising above the waves

Thursday 18 August 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Weather

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Rising above the waves
Photo: MELINA ETCHES/22081703

A windsurfer made the most of strong winds and high seas in Muri lagoon yesterday afternoon.

Authorities issued a “Wave Alert” warning earlier this week asking people to avoid beach and lagoon activities during key risk times especially at high tides.

Yesterday, large waves and strong wind conditions were impacting the Southern Cook Islands as forecasted. Wave heights for southern coastlines were expected to increase, peaking at around five metres and forecast to persist throughout today. The strong winds were expected to begin easing from yesterday afternoon.

Properties on the coastal south-eastern and southern areas of Rarotonga had prepared in the event of wave runups and surges reaching the top of the beach and beyond.

Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) director John Strickland said there had been “no significant” reports of damages to property.

The sea swells were high in Muri with waves crashing on the sandy beach coastal areas and the sandbags at Avana harbour.

EMCI officials were on the road at key risk times after midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday with the support of police.

“We would like to thank the police who were also out on the road in the key areas, and the community for their cooperation to the wave alert warnings,” Strickland said.

People in south-eastern coastal areas of Rarotonga between Muri and Titikaveka have been asked to monitor conditions and keep a close eye on all equipment on beaches and within the lagoon during the times of high tide and be cautious of strong currents in the lagoon. Today’s high tide times are 1am to 3am and 1pm to 3pm.

EMCI will continue to monitor forecasts and conditions closely.