Tsunami would hit thou­sands


Thou­sands of peo­ple at pop­u­lar beaches to the north of Auck­land would be at risk if a tsunami struck in sum­mer, a re­port shows.

The Auck­land Tsunami Com­mu­nity Ex­po­sure Anal­y­sis re­port, com­mis­sioned by Auck­land Coun­cil, iden­ti­fied which com­mu­ni­ties had the great­est pop­u­la­tion ex­po­sure in the re­gion’s tsunami evac­u­a­tion ar­eas.

Eight of the 10 most af­fected ar­eas were in the Rod­ney, Hibis­cus and Bays and Devon­portTaka­puna lo­cal board ar­eas. The ar­eas looked at in the re­port were in Auck­land’s ex­ist­ing or­ange and red tsunami evac­u­a­tion zones, which are largely low-ly­ing coastal ar­eas.

Based on the worst-case sce­nario mod­elled in the re­port - a fine sum­mer’s day - the com­mu­nity with the high­est ex­po­sure is Orewa with 6521 peo­ple within the evac­u­a­tion area. Al­bany ward coun­cil­lor and deputy chair of the Civil De­fence De­fence and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee John Wat­son said north Auck­land should be a ‘‘prime tar­get’’ for fund­ing al­lo­cated for public alert­ing sys­tems, if it were dis­trib­uted. He said Auck­land Coun­cil had $2.72 mil­lion in cap­i­tal fund­ing in the Long Term Plan for public alert­ing sys­tems.

‘‘The re­port is now go­ing to be con­sulted on with lo­cal boards across Auck­land. Th­ese lo­cal boards should hope­fully re­quest that this fund­ing be used in ar­eas of most acute vul­ner­a­bil­ity.’’

Wat­son said sirens as warn­ings were one of the most ef­fec­tive means of out­door mass no­ti­fi­ca­tions but needed to be used in con­junc­tion with other meth­ods like texts and so­cial me­dia.

‘‘It’s not so the­o­ret­i­cal now, with Christchurch and Kaik­oura and some of th­ese big tsunamis that have hap­pened over­seas. Peo­ple are a lot more aware. It’s not so much a mat­ter of ‘if’, it’s a mat­ter of ‘when’.’’ Tsunami sirens are in­stalled in the north at Om­aha, Point Wells, Whangateau and Wai­w­era. Th­ese com­mu­ni­ties rank third, 48th, 100th, and 40th on the list of most af­fected com­mu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the Auck­land Civil De­fence web­site, the se­lected sites are pop­u­lated lo­ca­tions up to 10 me­tres from sea level. The other com­mu­ni­ties ranked in the top 10 were Om­aha and Pare­moremo West from Rod­ney, Sil­verdale Cen­tral and Stan­more Bay East, from Hibis­cus and Bays, and Mt Vic­to­ria and Stan­ley Bay from Devon­port-Taka­puna.


Kingi Herewini plays ‘‘any­thing that’s not net­ball or soc­cer’’.

Orewa tops the list of beaches at risk.

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