2 Feb 2010

Tropical cyclone Oli traverses Cooks waters

2:16 pm on 2 February 2010

Tropical Cyclone Oli has moved away from the northern Cook Islands but could still affect islands to the east of the southern Cook Islands.

The cyclone is moving in a south-easterly direction at about 15 knots.

The director of the Cook Islands meteorological service, Aronai Ngari, says at the rate the cyclone is moving it's possible none of the inhabited islands will be hit by the cyclone.

However he says it's too early to say if all islands are in the clear.

"If it continues on the same south east direction, we should be OK, but if it takes more of a southerly direction from its current position it could affect islands to the east of the southern cooks, what we call the ngaputoru, these are the islands of Mauke, Atiu and Mitiaro. Considering that right now the wind close to the centre is 50 knots gusting up to 80 knots and the system is intensifying, this could pose a threat in to the islands."

Aronai Ngari says evacuations centres have been activated but at this stage there have been no reports of damage or injuries and people are not being told to stay indoors.