22 Feb 2010

Depression still threatening to become cyclone in Northern Cook Islands

11:52 am on 22 February 2010

The Fiji Met Service says the Northern Cook Island of Penrhyn has had heavy rainfall overnight due to a tropical depression in the south west.

Forecasters say low lying areas are expected to be flooded this morning, following rainfall of around 156mm over a six hour period.

Met service forecaster in Nadi, Alipate Waqaicelua, says the depression is currently south west of Penrhyn and travelling at about 27 kms per hour.

But he says they remain unsure whether it will develop into a cyclone at this stage.

"It may. But conditions are rather not conducive to further development but we are keeping a very close eye on it cos it is right in the middle of the Northern Cooks."

The latest forecasts say Penrhyn will continue to experience damaging gale force winds until later tonight and periods of heavy rain.

The depression is still said to be still intensifying at this stage