7 Jan 2004

Niue has been hit by winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour

7:32 am on 7 January 2004

Niue has felt the full brunt of cyclone Heta overnight, but the storm is now moving away.

It is now around two hundred kilometres south of Niue.

At the cyclones height, forecasters say the island was hit by winds of up to two hundred kilometres an hour ...those conditions battered Niue for around three hours.

Communications on the island are limited.

Power links and satellite dishes were disconnected before the high winds arrived for safety and to protect equipment.

Those with homes on the island were told to shelter indoors and visitors staying at the main resort have been moved to the New Zealand High Commissioner's residence.

Earlier, the Deputy High Commissioner, Tony Fautua, had said preparations for Cyclone Heta's arrival were well underway with windows being boarded up and roofs secured.

The bad weather has avoided the Cook Islands but swells of up to six metres..four metres higher than usual are expected on the west coast of Rarotonga.