As I explained hours ago here (Death toll in Asian tsunami disaster tops 295,000), yesterday I saw footage of gigantic 9 meter waves of cyclone Meenie
(the strongest ever recorded in the South Pacific) sweeping across Rarotonga lowlands, destroying completely the waterfront.
Not only did MSM withheld the footage, but the few articles so far mentioned only minor damage.
It took one day and a comunication from the government of the Maldives (!) atoll in the Indian Ocean to be informed that the damage wasn't that
Let's wait and see how many dozens really were destroyed ... or better said, were left standing.
====== As the strongest cyclone ever recorded approached (1)
An alert from the Fiji weather center warned of "very destructive hurricane-force winds'' and "phenomenal seas'' with waves up to 11 meters (36
feet) striking areas round the main island of Rarotonga and nearby Manaia by early Monday.
"It doesn't look very good for us'' right now, said John Strickland, speaking from the nation's National Emergency Operations Center in the
Cooks' capital, Rarotonga.
Strickland said the most destructive recent cyclone to hit the Cooks was Cyclone Sally in 1987, and "we were pretty much devastated,'' with the
airport, beach hotels, tourist resorts and businesses in towns close to the sea front badly damaged.
"Cyclone Meena, we're told, has twice the strength of Cyclone Sally,'' Strickland said, adding "we're hoping that it will swing out, (go)
elsewhere,'' he said
====== As the strongest cyclone ever recorded approached (2)
Tourists left stranded in the Cook Islands by Air New Zealand
"We watched the plane approach the runway, but before it (touched down), it took off," Gambill said. "I looked at my husband, and we knew it was
going back to Auckland."
British tourist Anna Brennan was also angry with Air New Zealand, saying she was "petrified" after being left in the airport as the cyclone hit.
[edit on 8-2-2005 by MattMarriott]