Tsunami Warnings

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.

The EMA system is used for other emergency events in your area. If your life, health or property is in danger, an EMA can be sent to your mobile without the need to sign up or download an app.  You can find out more about the Emergency Mobile Alerts by visiting the National Emergency Management Agency.

Check our tsunami page for information  and the natural warnings you might also see at the coast.

Tsunami Warning sirens

Auckland's Siren Locations

The Auckland region has a siren network that will be triggered in the event of a tsunami threat. We are currently in the process of upgrading and expanding our alert network and have recently installed new sirens in Orewa.

Check below to find if your community has a tsunami siren and get an idea of what the different alert signals mean. Remember, sirens are not the only way we will warn our communities; if you do not have a siren there may be official warnings via EMA, radio, television or social media. There are also a number of natural warnings you can look out for if you live by the coast.

Our tsunami siren network is tested twice a year at the change of daylight saving at midday - this is also a great a reminder to change your clocks and test your smoke alarms. 


  • Omaha
  • Point Wells
  • Whangateau
  • Waiwera
  • Orewa (operational from September 27, 2020)


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

What do the sounds mean?

Most sirens in the Auckland region follow a sound pattern of: 

Alert signal (dash - dash - dot - dot) triggered 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) triggered in a 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.

The new Orewa tsunami sirens will be a combination of alert sounds, and voice instructions on what you should do. Here is an example of the test message.

The voice message is deliberately recorded slowly to compensate for the reverberations and echoes that occur when using large public address systems like these in a wide open space.


In a tsunami emergency, always follow the instructions of the emergency services.

Create an emergency plan for your home and whānau and practice it so everyone knows what to do in an emergency and what you need to take if you are evacuating. If you need help with your plan, check out getready.govt.nz.

If you are asked to evacuate, please do so by moving to high ground or as far inland as you can, preferably without using your car. Practice evacuating with your whānau.

Stay in your safe area and listen to the radio for information. Do not return to your home unless the official ‘All-Clear’ message has been given. A tsunami is a series of waves, and the danger may take several hours to pass.

Only return to your home if it is safe to do so. Remember your home or neighbourhood may have been damaged.