All of Auckland's coastline is vulnerable to tsunami.
A tsunami is a series of powerful waves caused by large, sudden disturbances on or near the ocean floor. Tsunami can hit the coast with massive force, creating strong currents and can travel considerable distances inland across low-lying areas, flooding coastlines. They are most commonly caused by earthquakes but may also be caused by underwater volcanic eruptions or landslides. New Zealand’s position on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire makes its exposure to tsunami hazards high.
Tsunami may cause injuries or loss of life, if people do not evacuate tsunami risk zones. They can cause widespread property damage, lifeline utility disruption and significantly impact our communities and environment.
A tsunami can occur at any time. In deep water, tsunami waves are small and barely noticeable, but when tsunami enter shallow water they increase in height. Some tsunami can be very large and cause widespread destruction, others can be small but still dangerous to those near or in coastal waters.
It is important to remember that not all earthquakes will generate a tsunami, and that New Zealand can be affected by tsunami generated far from our coast, or from nearby. Even nearby, the cause of the tsunami - such as an earthquake on the seabed - may not be felt on land. If you are at the coast and feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more, you may be at risk from a tsunami.
Earthquakes are not the only sign of an impending tsunami. Natural warning signs such as unusual sea behaviour including sudden rising or falling sea levels or unusual sounds at the coast may indicate a tsunami threat.
In the event of a tsunami emergency, an Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA) will be triggered. Your phone will receive a message which will tell you what the emergency is and what to do. Besides Emergency Mobile Alert, we will also get the messages out through broadcast on radio, television, news media and social media platforms.
The Auckland region also has a siren network that will be triggered in the event of a tsunami threat.
Update Tues 5th Sep 2023: The Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee Committee has voted to decommission the aging and compromised Meerkat tsunami siren network. This decommissioning decision only relates to the older siren network, and not to the two new sirens installed in 2020 in Orewa, which are working as expected and have not experienced any vandalism or thefts.
What do I need to do to be ready?
If you’re on the coast and you…
Don’t wait for an official warning…