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Cyclone PAT (TC 14P) Update 3 (11 Feb)

Posted by feww on February 11, 2010

Cyclone Pat Pummels Cook Islands

One of the strongest cyclones to hit the area in 20 years: Authorities

PAT struck the luxury holiday destination of Aitutaki causing major damage last night local time, prompting the government to declare an emergency on the island.

Prime Minister of Cook Islands Jim Marura’i has also declared a state of emergency for the main island of Rarotonga.

The cyclone “smashed houses, trees and power lines as it cut a swath through the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, officials said Thursday, AP reported.


NASA image of Aitutaki. Click image to enlarge.


Damage at the “luxury Cook Islands holiday destination of Aitutaki.” Photo courtesy of Mike Henry in Aitutaki, via 3 News NZ.

Cyclone PAT has damaged about 90 percent of the houses on the low-lying coral atoll of Aitutak with a population of 2,000 people, said Inspector Teri Pati of the National Disaster Management Center on Rarotonga, AP reported.

“A lot of houses have been damaged, trees were uprooted, and the road has been blocked by fallen trees and debris, no power to the island, the communication is down, but they trying at the moment to get the communication back on,” he was quoted by other sources as saying.

Fiji Meteorological Service said the cyclone has weakened in intensity. However, it warned of  heavy rains, destructive winds and high tides.

“There is a lot of wind damage – homes with their roofs taken off,” Moana Motekaa of Cook Islands News said, 3News reported.

“Thirty percent of homes in the villages of Arutanga through to Amuri have either had their roofs damaged or ripped off. At least 10 homes have ‘imploded’ – the houses have been completely flattened. Even the cyclone shelter in Arutanga has had its roof blown off.

“The airport terminal at Aitutaki has been extensively damaged,” said the report.

TC PAT Details

  • Time/Date: 11 February 2010 –  03:00 UTC
  • Position:  Near 20ºS, 161ºW [UNCERTAIN]
  • Sustained Movement: 200  degrees [UNCERTAIN]
  • Forward speed: 15 km/hr (~ 8 kt)

Current Wind Distribution:

  • Maximum Sustained winds: 110 km (~ 60 kt)
  • Maximum Gusts:  ~ 140 km/hr (~ 75 kt)
  • Cyclone PAT is rapidly weakening

Wave Height and Location:

  • Maximum significant wave height: ~ 6m (18 ft) (?)
  • Location: PAT was located about 185 km (~ 100 NM) north of Rarotonga
  • Sources: CIMSS, JTWC and Others


Cyclone PAT. VIS/IR Sat image- UW-CIMSS. Click image to enhance.

Animation (NOAA) GOES Imagery

Related Links:

One Response to “Cyclone PAT (TC 14P) Update 3 (11 Feb)”

  1. feww said

    It’s difficult to see how Ratotonga was “spared” by PAT, as the commercial media suggest, despite the Cyclone’s early demise.

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