It’s rain, rain and more rain…

Tuesday April 10, 2018 Written by Published in Weather
A large puddle of water near the New Zealand High Commission building on Sunday reflected the fried chicken outlet across the road, road signs and passing traffic. 18040804 A large puddle of water near the New Zealand High Commission building on Sunday reflected the fried chicken outlet across the road, road signs and passing traffic. 18040804

Rarotonga was pelted with about 200mm of rain between Wednesday of last week and yesterday morning.

Meteorological Service director Arona Ngari said it was the highest rainfall recorded over a five-day period so far this year.

And he said the rainy spell was expected to continue because of the adverse weather system arising from a cyclone in the region.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni, a category three system, was yesterday expected to make landfall in Fiji.

At around midday yesterday, Keni was travelling southeastwards of Fiji at 20kms an hour.

Close to its centre, the cyclone had average winds up to 130 km/hr with gusts up to 185 km/hr and was likely to make landfall on the outer islands.

Ngari said while there was no direct effect to the Cook Islands from TC Keni, it was expected to bring rain and storm surge in the coming days.

“TC Keni is moving in the southeastern direction and it should be almost south of Tonga by Tuesday.

“There is no danger to the Cook Islands in terms of wind, but we could have storm surges associated with the water system and rain associated with the rain band.

“People still need to take caution and be vigilant at all times. 

Ngari said the current rainy spell is expected to continue until Friday.

He said the temperature was also expected to drop during this period. 

“People are advised to take their wet gear when going to work and to keep warm in the evenings.”

Last weekend, non-stop rain caused flooding throughout Rarotonga. Yesterday the water supply in Avaavaroa was temporarily disconnected for maintenance. The Avatiu intake also sustained damage over the weekend.

The Water, Waste and Sanitation Unit (WATSAN) advised locals to expect water problems to continue whilst the heavy rain continued. They suggested all residents should clean their water filters daily, as well boiling all drinking water.

WATSAN says houses that will be the “worst off” in-terms of flooding are those that are situated in low lying areas, due to water flowing to the lower parts of the island.

They say that there is a general “lack of awareness” among island residents about the functions of wetlands and low lying areas. WATSAN offered some solutions for those affected, including the construction of trenches on the lower side of their properties, installing rainwater tanks to capture rainwater, and also planting trees.

Staff say government agencies are working hard to “improve development guidance and controls”, hoping to prevent issues arising in the future, including the flooding of roads.

            - RK/ LR

Leave a comment