Useful Information

Tsunami Warning sirens

Auckland's Siren Locations

Tsunami warning sirens are installed at the following locations:


  • Omaha
  • Point Wells
  • Whangateau
  • Waiwera


  • Bethells
  • Te Henga
  • Piha (north and south)
  • Karekare
  • Huia
  • Little Huia
  • Whatipu
  • Te Atatu (north and south)
  • Herald Island




Tsunami Signals

The tsunami siren network is tested twice a year at the beginning and end of daylight saving. If you are in an area with a tsunami siren, you will hear the following signals during an actual tsunami threat. If you are in an evacuation zone be prepared to act even without a siren warning, as you will receive other alerts such as text alerts.

Alert signal (dash - dash - dot - dot) sounded for 15 minutes

This signal notifies residents that a tsunami threat has been received by Civil Defence.

Residents should respond by:

  • Evacuating beaches
  • Listening to the radio and TV for information
  • Preparing to evacuate their homes and businesses, if required.

Evacuate signal (dot - dot - dot) sounded in continuous burst for 15 minutes

The signal is used when a specific threat to the coastline has been confirmed.

Residents should respond by:

  • Evacuating immediately to the nearest high ground
  • Avoiding using personal transport (e.g. cars) unless absolutely essential, as this may cause congestion.

All clear signal (a continuous tone for five minutes)

The signal is used to notify that the threat of a tsunami has passed.

Residents should respond by:

  • Returning to their home or business, if not affected
  • Following the directions of the emergency services in affected areas.

Click here to find out what a tsunami siren sounds like.

Siren FAQs

Do the sirens cover all coastal areas?


No they don’t. The selected sites and coverage areas are designed for populated locations from sea level and up to 10m from sea level.

Will the sirens hurt my ears?


The sirens are designed to start at a low noise level and increase to full volume over the first four or five repetitions. This gives people in close proximity to a siren warning to cover their ears while moving away to a safe distance.

When will the sirens be used?


Initially, the system will only be activated to warn the public of any tsunami threat as may be notified to Civil Defence authorities by the National Warning System. The system has three tones to signal an alert only, evacuation required and all clear.

What do I DO if I hear a Tsunami siren?


  • Identify if it is an alert or evacuate signal
  • Evacuate all beaches immediately on hearing the alert or evacuate signal
  • Know where your essential documents and medicines are to take with you


What DON'T I do when I hear a Tsunami siren?


  • Panic when you hear the siren or get a text alert
  • Travel in your car unless you have to
  • Return until you have heard the all clear signal


Leave home only if in immediate danger or if you are officially advised to.

Stay inside (unless you are advised to evacuate) if there is a chemical or gas disaster or a storm. Listen to the radio or TV for information. If the power is off, your car radio will still work.

If you need to evacuate, secure your home as though you were going on holiday and turn off power, water, and gas. Ensure each adult in your household knows how to turn these off.

To indicate that you have successfully evacuated, put a piece of white paper in the window where it can be seen from the street.

Evacuate if there is:

  • Fire - get out and stay out
  • A large earthquake and you are near sea level on the coast, move to higher ground immediately as tsunami can come after earthquakes
  • Official advice to do so (if you have time, take your survival items and listen to your radio).