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How prepared are you?

tsunami sign

For the last few months, scientists from GNS Science and Massey University - through the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) - have been exploring tsunami awareness and preparedness along the East Coast of the North Island.

The East Coast has the highest level of tsunami hazard for New Zealand as the boundary between the Pacific and the Australian tectonic plates lies just off the coast.  A major earthquake along this subduction zone could trigger a local tsunami that could send waves 20 metres high or greater to the coast within minutes and could cause thousands of fatalities.

Late last year 3000 questionnaires were delivered to ten coastal communities along the East Coast.

These communities included:

  • Eastbourne, Seatoun and Lyall Bay, from Wellington region
  • Castlepoint, Riversdale Beach and Akitio, in the Wairarapa
  • Westshore, Haumoana and Te Awanga, within the Napier urban area
  • Wainui Beach, Gisborne

The survey focussed mainly on tsunami risk awareness, preparedness and evacuation intentions in case of a major event.

The research show that the East Coast communities, for the most part, are aware of the risk of tsunami. However, the results show that there is some uncertainty about the warning options regarding ‘Distant source tsunami’ versus ‘Local source tsunami’.

You can read the results of the study here: Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island (2016)

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