Tsunami zone maps released
Lessons learned from the November Kaikoura earthquake, which produced panic and confusion regarding tsunami warnings in coastal Otago, has resulted in the release of evacuation maps.
Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management held a briefing at Dunedin on Tuesday to formally release the tsunami evacuation zone maps, which will give coastal Otago people more certainty about which areas they should leave when a tsunami threatens.
The detailed maps show three zones, coloured red, orange and yellow, and can be viewed on any computer or mobile device. (See map page 11.)
They should also provide a level reassurance to people about when to get out of low-lying areas, and how far they would have to move to reach safety, Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management group controller Chris Hawker, said. The maps allowed people who lived or worked along the coast to be better prepared in the event of a tsunami. They built on the national tsunami awareness campaign, with its ‘‘Long, Strong – Get Gone’’ message, based on the natural warning signs of prolonged and severe shaking.
‘‘Last November when we had the tsunami warning after the Kaikoura earthquake, there was a lot of confusion about who should evacuate and where they ought to go. The mapping project will give people much more certainty about what they should prepare for.’’
‘‘We’re expecting that the release of these maps will get a lot of people thinking about what this means for them.’’
Clutha District Emergency Management Officer Brendon Smith welcomed the publication of the tsunami evacuation zone maps, which would be a valuable addition to the community response plans already in place in coastal Otago. This would help assist with the development of response plans for others, he said.
‘‘It means both civil defence teams and the public are better informed, which lets everyone make better decisions in an emergency.’’
Smith encouraged everyone living or working on the Clutha coast to check out the evacuation zones and the FAQs on Emergency Management Otago’s website.
Public meetings will also be held for Clutha’s coastal communities to discuss the maps in the coming months.
Tsunami evacuation zone map.