Cook Islands main island battered by storm

High sea surges continue to threaten parts of the Cook Islands as a violent weather system hampers the country.

Yesterday strong gusts and heavy rain battered Rarotonga, with sea surges flooding low lying areas and inundating roads with debris.

Cook Islands Meteorological Service Director Arona Ngari said it will be a significant clean up operation.

"It has been a long week or so for us, but things have abated, so just waiting for another two three days for the whole momentum of the system to calm down. No major damage apart from coastal inundation, mostly from the waves. A bit of flooding last night and the day before from the rainfall," he said.

"People have reacted positively insuring safety is at the upmost. Working closely with the police and the office of the Prime Minister and Emergency Management Cook Islands, we have managed to safeguard the community this time round with this system. Looking forward to improve and sort out some shortfalls." Ngari said

He said the weather system is now about 500 kilometres south-west of Rarotonga.


Photo RNZ Pacific/Peter French