Cook Islands on cyclone watch | Pacific Beat

Cook Islands on cyclone watch

Cook Islands on cyclone watch

Updated 19 March 2014, 20:14 AEDT

The Cook Islands is bracing itself for a tropical cyclone.

Tropical Cyclone Mike has formed near the island of Aitutaki.

Presenter: Bruce Hill

Kake Ioane, Senior Meteorological Observer Cook Islands Meteorological Service

IOANE: The system is of Tropical Cyclone Mike was located near 20.7 south, 62. west at 5 pm this evening or about 40 nautical miles northwest of Rarotonga and 120 nautical miles south-southwest of Aitukaki at 5 pm this evening.

HILL: That's really close to Rarotonga, isn't it?

IOANE: Yes, and the cyclone is moving towards the southeast at about 22 knots.

HILL: How strong is it, what sort of a Category Cyclone is it?

IOANE: Ah well, the cyclone is category one at the moment and we are expecting for another bulletin coming in soon, later on this evening.

HILL: So, looking out your window, what does the weather look like in Rarotonga at the moment?

IOANE: Well, our current weather now is with calm wind, with moderate to heavy rain at the moment and for Aitutaki, there's some gusty strong southeasterly wind about 40 knots.

HILL: So where is it expected to be tomorrow, is it going to blow itself out on the open ocean or will it still cause some problems in the Cooks group?

IOANE: Well, expecting for to pick up tonight here in Rarotonga maybe about 11 pm tonight and the system is moving southeast now.

HILL: What about any sort of expected damaged. I mean a category one doesn't sound to bad, but even category ones or even just large depressions can dump a lot of rain and cause a lot of damage cant they?

IOANE: Yes, I don't think there's some damage at this stage, but maybe later on, but very rough seas and like I said, moderate to heavy rain at the moment, with very calm wind.

HILL: So obviously there are a lot of yachties in the area. If they are not safely tied up in harbour, they should probably head to open ocean and try and ride it out then I guess?

IOANE: Well, all the boats that are located in Apia now have moved away from the island and they are some surrounding on the western side of the island and probably they may move out further out in the ocean sometimes during the morning.

HILL: And people in Rarotonga have been given plenty of warning of this. They even had time to sort of clean up their yards, make sure there's nothing loose, like corrugated iron that might fly around?

IOANE: Well at this stage, I think everybody is ready and prepared for the cyclone. After all the warning has been warned to the people to take extra care for the Cyclone Mike.

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