We're living on a coastline where tsunami could occur. It's important to be prepared and know what the warning signs and alerting mechanisms are for a tsunami. Being able to determine these without the aid of the authorities can give you vital time to safely evacuate.
In the case of an impending tsunami, warning messages and signals can come from several sources – natural, official or unofficial.
Natural warning signals may be the only warnings possible for local or regional source tsunami. Examples of natural warnings include:
- Strong earthquake shaking (i.e. it is hard to stand up)
- Weak, rolling earthquake shaking of unusually long duration (i.e. a minute or more)
- Out of ordinary sea behaviour, such as unusual and sudden sea level fall or rise
- The sea making loud and unusual noises, especially roaring like a jet engine.
When experiencing any of the above go immediately to high ground or, if the surrounding area is flat, go as far inland as possible, evacuating all coastal areas or, where present, all evacuation zones.
The first wave may arrive within minutes. Once away from the water, listen to a local radio for information from local civil defence about further action you should take.
Even if you do not feel shaking, if you learn that an area has experienced a large earthquake that could send a tsunami in your direction, listen to a local radio or television station for information from the local civil defence about action you should take. Depending on the location of the earthquake, you may have a number of hours in which to take appropriate action.
An official warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management may be given through radio or television broadcasts and emergency services.
Warning may also be through siren, telephone, text, loud hailer or other local arrangements.
You may receive warnings from one, or several sources. Respond to the first source; do not wait for more messages before you act.
Fire sirens located in coastal Eastern Bay of Plenty communities have been converted to provide a Civil Defence warning system. This is a continuous rise siren and it will sound for 10 minutes. When you hear the siren you should listen to your radio (1XX) for further information.
Tsunami Evacuation Information and Maps (for Eastern Bay of Plenty)
This booklet provides you with information about tsunami and how you can prepare yourself and your family should a tsunami occur.
Inside the Eastern Bay of Plenty Tsunami Evacuation Information booklet (PDF, 2.98MB) you will find the following information:
- What is a tsunami?
- How will I know if a tsunami has been generated?
- How will I know when to evacuate?
- What can I do to protect myself from a tsunami?
- Where do I evacuate to? Understanding the maps
- Te Kaha
- Waihau Bay
- Household Emergency Checklist
- Household Emergency Plan.