12 Mar 2009

Cyclone Joni moving away from Cook Islands

2:51 pm on 12 March 2009

The Cook Islands meteorological service says while tropical Cyclone Joni is now slowly moving away from the group, strong winds associated with the system are still being felt in the outer islands.

The office says Cyclone Joni was about 70 nautical miles southwest of Mangaia and 110 nautical miles south-southeast of Rarotonga and is moving at 5 knots.

A gale warning still remains in force for Mangaia with wind gusts of at least 100 kilometres per hour.

For Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Manuae, Mauke and nearby smaller islands, a strong wind warning remians in force.

David Tupou of the meteorological service says the outher islands are feeling the affects of the cyclone.

"Probably just the small islands, like Mangaia, but it is moving away from Managaia."

David Tupou says flooding is also expected in lowing lying areas.