Close Window
South Seas Cyclone Lashes Cook Island February 12, 2010
The faint clockwise circulation of Cyclone Pat can be seen swirling to the northwest of Rarotonga on Wednesday.
Cyclone Pat battered part of the Cook Islands archipelago in the South Pacific Tuesday and Wednesday with winds of more than 90 mph.

The New Zealand Red Cross reports the storm severely damaged about 90 percent of the houses on Aitutaki, which has a population of just under 2,000.

It was the most powerful storm to hit the low-lying coral atoll in about 20 years. But authorities say that the major resorts on the picturesque island survived Pat’s fury without significant damage.

The cyclone then spared the main island of Rarotonga before weakening over cooler waters.

The Cook Islands comprises 15 atolls and are spread over about 850,000 square miles of the Pacific.

They are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand.

The capital of Avarua is located about 1,900 miles northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.

Tropical Storm Track

Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS