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[Media Release - OPM] Tsunami Warning Downgraded to a Watch for the Cook Islands

4 March 2021

The Tsunami Warning for the Cook Islands is now downgraded to a Tsunami Watch.


Indications from other monitors around the Pacific region show very little impact from the 8.1 earthquake that was centered in the Kermadec Islands region earlier this morning other than slight increases in the tidal gauge levels.


The wave pattern was expected to reach the Cook Islands at 1.30pm but only showed slightly elevated tidal levels as a result.


An emergency coordination operation was convened at the office of Emergency Management Cook Islands (EMCI) with police, meteorological and emergency services present to advise the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.


The Cook Islands Prime Minister was very pleased with both the EMCI response and people taking personal responsibility for themselves and their property. A number of small boat owners either moved their vessels or headed out to the safety of the sea. And businesses on the foreshore closed early as a precaution. Schools also closed today. The Pa Enua were also included in the early warning alerts and have reported no significant wave action. The Met Office will monitor marine activity for the next few hours before they give the final cancellation of the Tsunami warning.


Police and other organisations were put on alert and observations from vantage points provided. The patrol boat PPB Te Kukupa was also deployed. Live data from tidal gages did record slightly higher than normal amplitudes as a result of the tsunami and there was some sea surge at low-lying coastal spots.


ENDS.


Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486