Hon Peeni Henare
Minister of Civil Defence
5 November 2019 PĀNUI PĀPĀHO
Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New
Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe.
“All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. For most of us that means we live near, or visit places that are
at risk,” Peeni Henare said.
“Fortunately, most of the tsunami New Zealand experiences aren’t large enough to flood land areas and cause major
destruction. But that’s no reason to be complacent. Even small tsunami can generate strong currents and surges that can
result in injury or death.
“Tsunami waves aren’t like normal ocean waves, they’re far more powerful and getting caught in one would be like being
in a washing machine. They are a danger to swimmers, surfers, people fishing, small boats and anyone in or near the
water close to shore.
“This is why the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises people in or near the sea to move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away
from harbours, rivers and estuaries when tsunami activity is expected.
When a larger tsunami that could cause flooding of land areas is expected, people will need to move out of tsunami
evacuation zones. An Emergency Mobile Alert will be issued to areas under threat and warnings will be provided via
radio, TV and on www.civildefence.govt.nz
For a local source tsunami, which could arrive in minutes, there won’t be time for an official warning. It is important
to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly.
If you are at the coast and experience any of the following:
• Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a long earthquake that lasts a minute or more
• See a sudden rise or fall in sea level
• Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea.
Move immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as you can.
Check out the tsunami evacuation zones for your area and make sure you know where to go, whether you are at home, at
work or out and about.
“World Tsunami Awareness Day is a good time to learn more about your tsunami risk, know how to prepare and to update
your plan to keep your family safe,” Peeni Henare said.
Find out how to get tsunami ready at www.getready.govt.nz