Get to know your tsunami zones

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT -

Right now tsunamis and earth­quakes are right at the top of peo­ple’s minds - and with sum­mer fi­nally here, many peo­ple will be head­ing away on hol­i­day. In New Zealand, that gen­er­ally in­volves at least one visit to a beach.

Our great­est tsunami threat for the North Is­land comes from the Hiku­rangi sub­duc­tion zone off the East Coast, where the Pa­cific Plate is be­ing forced un­der the Aus­tralian Plate.

If this fault line rup­tures, the only warn­ing you might get of a tsunami would be from the shak­ing of the earth­quake it­self. The first wave may ar­rive in as lit­tle as 10 min­utes, so there is no time to wait for an of­fi­cial warn­ing. Kapiti and Porirua could sim­i­larly face a tsunami threat from their off­shore fault lines.

If you are at the coast or are in a tsunami evac­u­a­tion zone, and you feel a LONG earth­quake that lasts for a minute or longer, OR a STRONG earth­quake that makes it hard to stand up, that’s the only no­ti­fi­ca­tion you need, and may be the only no­ti­fi­ca­tion that you will get that there could be a tsunami on the way.

DON’T WAIT for fur­ther in­struc­tions, for your phone to beep, or other no­ti­fi­ca­tions or ad­vice, a mes­sage on the ra­dio, or some­thing on Face­book - evac­u­ate im­me­di­ately on foot to high ground, past the blue lines if they are in your area, as soon as the shak­ing has stopped.

Check out the tsunami evac­u­a­tion zones now. Look for where you live, work or play, and the places you of­ten visit or pass through. And if you are hit­ting the road this sum­mer, take some time to look at the maps as a house­hold – prepa­ra­tion now can pre­vent a whole lot of stress later.

We have brand new tsunami evac­u­a­tion zone maps avail­able for the re­gion, cov­er­ing our en­tire coast­line. The maps are all avail­able as JPGs and PDFs that you can print at get­pre­pared.org.nz/ tz. There’s also a search­able map of the re­gion.

These maps were de­vel­oped us­ing com­puter mod­el­ling of the be­hav­iour of tsunami waves on our coast­lines by GNS Science, and the Yel­low Zone cov­ers the worst case cred­i­ble sce­nario for tsunami that could im­pact our re­gion. Where they have been painted, the Blue Lines in­di­cate the edge of the Yel­low Zone, so head up­hill past them to get out of the zone.

RE­MEM­BER:

If it’s long or strong, be gone. Find out where to go now and prac­tise get­ting there. Have a grab bag by the door ready to go.

If you have any is­sues on emer­gency pre­pared­ness you’d like dis­cussed in this col­umn, email wremo@gw.govt.nz

The re­gional coun­cil has put out new tsunami maps. What zone is your house in?

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