Tsunami warning

Following this morning’s earthquake off the east coast of the North Island there’s been a few complaints about the delay in Civil Defence issuing a tsunami warning.

Newstalk ZB, in Civil Defence response to tsunami threat questioned, detailed the timing:

NZ:Timeline of earthquake response

4.37am earthquake strikes
4.41am – The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management receives initial notification of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake from GNS Science
4.53am – GNS upgrades quake to a 7.1
These earthquakes did not meet the threshold for automatic issuing of a potential tsunami threat, ministry says
5.10am – Ministry issues an earthquake notification
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre finds no tsunami threat in their initial assessment
5.33am – Ministry issues national advisory for a potential tsunami threat. Says it’s proactive while awaiting confirmation from scientists
5.58am – A tsunami warning is issued
8.30am – Cancellation message sent at 8.30am.

I think common sense should be used:

If you feel an earthquake take cover as soon as you can – it’s called Drop, Cover, Hold but just immediately protect yourself as well as you can.

Once the shaking has finished take care in case anything has been loosened or weakened.

If you are anywhere near the seashore treat it as a tsunami risk until you fond out otherwise – assume danger unless you are confident it’s safe.

When you can check online or on TV or the radio to see what warnings may have been issued, but if you don’t find any warnings or all clears continue to take care.

Official advice may help, eventually, but don’t rely on it, use common sense.

If I get clobbered by an earthquake or wiped out by a tsunami I would put it down to bad luck, or not being sensible and taking responsibility for myself.

An earthquake should be sufficient warning of potential tsunami risk.

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1 Comment

  1. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  2nd September 2016

    The East coast of the North Island has had a couple of Tsunamis that followed offshore earthquakes
    However these earthquakes did not appear very serious on land (no earthquake damage to structures)


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