One­tangi high on list for tsunami dan­ger

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

A tsunami siren could soon be in­stalled at One­tangi Beach af­ter it was as­sessed as a high risk area if a tsunami strikes.

GNS Sci­ence Con­sul­tancy has writ­ten a re­port for Auck­land Coun­cil rank­ing beaches in the re­gion ac­cord­ing to the num­ber of peo­ple who could be hit by a tsunami.

One­tangi is ranked at num­ber 15, with about 900 peo­ple po­ten­tially af­fected on a sum­mer’s day.

Maps show most of the is­land’s coast could be in­un­dated by a tsunami, with par­tic­u­lar risks at beaches on the east­ern coast.

Palm Beach is ranked at 15, with 239 peo­ple po­ten­tially af­fected. Os­tend is ranked at 55, Surf­dale at 57, Oneroa at 116, Black­pool at 120, Orapiu at 125 and Omiha at 168.

Wai­heke Lo­cal Board has ap­proved in prin­ci­ple the in­stal­la­tion of new warn­ing sirens in high risk ar­eas around the is­land.

Tsunamis are most com­monly caused by un­der­wa­ter earthquakes and a one to three me­tre tsunami strikes ev­ery 100 to 300 years.

They could be caused by a lo­cal or Pa­cific earth­quake and would take one to three hours or longer to reach Auck­land’s coast.

Auck­land cur­rently has 44 tsunami warn­ing sirens, but th­ese do not meet new stan­dards and will soon be up­graded.

Peo­ple can pre­pare for a tsunami by hav­ing an emer­gency kit ready and plan­ning how they would get to higher ground.

Civil De­fence ad­vises peo­ple to walk or bike to higher ar­eas im­me­di­ately and only to drive if es­sen­tial.

Pets should be taken to higher ground if this can be done safely.

Boats are usu­ally safer in water deeper than 20 me­tres, but peo­ple should move boats fur­ther out to sea only if it is safe.

Civil De­fence warns peo­ple against go­ing to the shore to watch for a tsunami.

Ra­dio sta­tions would of­fer in­for­ma­tion if a tsunami was loom­ing.

For de­tailed maps of low ly­ing ar­eas that are vul­ner­a­ble to tsunamis and ar­eas of higher ground that would be safe if a tidal wave struck, see www.auck­land­civilde­ The web­site also of­fers in­for­ma­tion on re­ceiv­ing emer­gency alerts by phone or email.

A tsunami would pose a risk to a large pop­u­la­tion at One­tangi Beach. GE­ORGE GARD­NER

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