9 Feb 2010

Southern Cooks prepares for Cyclone Pat

7:51 pm on 9 February 2010

People in the southern Cook Islands are making preparations to their homes and businesses to brace for Cyclone Pat.

Late this afternoon the cyclone was still about 600 kilometres from the main island, Rarotonga, after blowing through the northern islands overnight.

It is moving southeast but is set to tend southwest overnight and is expected to later bring gale force winds over much of the southern group.

The Cook Islands Emergency Management Office's William Tuivaga says people are getting ready.

"On Rarotonga some businesses will be putting up shutters, especially those located close to the coast. Tourism accomodators will have a list of safety centres that'll be located inland in the event storm surge was to affect their area. In the outer island they'll be doing the same things as well, securing roofs and putting shutters up over windows."

William Tuivaga says most places also have shelter centres or special houses set aside for that purpose.