Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Don’t be tsunami alarmed

Northland’s six-monthly tsunami siren test will take place at the end of daylight saving on Sunday, 7 April.

The network of more than 200 outdoor tsunami sirens in coastal communities, from Te Hapua in the north to Mangawhai in the south and Ruawai in the west, is checked twice a year, coinciding with the start and finish of daylight saving.

The sirens sound twice: firstly at 10am for 10 minutes and then again at 10.30am for 30 seconds, and will be monitored for any faults.

Indoor sirens will be tested at the same time as the outdoor network.

Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group spokesperson, Zach Woods said residents should also be aware of the risk of local source tsunami (those generated on or close to the coast), which could arrive ahead of any official warning.

“Everyone who spends time on the coast needs to know the natural warning signs of tsunami – a strong earthquake that is hard to stand up in or one that lasts longer than a minute, or out-of-the ordinary sea behaviour, such as sudden rise or fall and/or unusual noise,” he said.

He said Northlanders can check out whether they live, work or play in a tsunami evacuation zone, and plan the quickest route to safety, using the interactive maps at: www.nrc.govt.nz/evacuationzones

Northland’s outdoor tsunami sirens are funded and owned by the region’s three district councils (Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara) and operated in a partnership which also includes the two electricity networks (Northpower and Top Energy).

The Northland network has been developed since 2007, with a total of 205 sirens installed over that time.

This year will also see the first set of new outdoor tsunami sirens installed in the community. With the first two due to be installed in Whangārei in April, more will be progressively installed across Northland over the next couple of years.

To avoid confusion, even when the new sirens are installed, they won’t be used straight away. The current network will continue to be used until all the sirens have been replaced, then the new sirens will be used, and the old sirens removed.

To hear Northland’s current outdoor and indoor tsunami sirens online visit: www.nrc.govt.nz/tsunamisirens

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