5 Jan 2004

Niue still calm before the storm

2:55 pm on 5 January 2004

Niue experienced the calm before the storm, with fine weather and gentle coastal swells.

Matavai Resort manager, Dean Wescott, says the coast is surprisingly calm, given the Cyclone Heta moving towards Niue.

He says despite the nice weather, the country is under a cyclone alert:

"The last forecast that I saw was that we were expecting the winds to start this afternoon. We're still on blue alert, which is basically a preparation alert, so we're probably not expecting to go to a yellow alert until late tonight or tomorrow morning."

Mr Wescott says most of his 16 guests are New Zealanders who are now anxiously awaiting flight details from Polynesian Air as to whether they will depart to Auckland today before the cyclone.