Onetangi high on list for tsunami danger
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.aucklandcivildefence.org.nz. The website also offers information on receiving emergency alerts by phone or email.