Tsunami evacuation zones
Natural warning signs
For a local source tsunami which could arrive in minutes, there won't be time for an official warning, so you need to be able to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly if required.
If you are at the coast and experience any of the following:
- You feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts more than a minute
- You see a sudden rise or fall in sea level, or
- You hear loud and unusual noises from the sea, especially roaring like a jet engine.
Move immediately to higher ground or as far inland as you can, without waiting for an official warning.
Civil Defence warnings to evacuate your area - when possible - will come via:
- Alerts to your smartphone if you have downloaded the Hazard App
- Tsunami sirens
- Warnings via radio, TV and social media
- PA systems on fire engines
- Other local arrangements e.g. telephone trees.
In the event that an immediate evacuation of tsunami zones is directed:
- Move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can
- Walk or bike where possible and drive only if essential. If driving, keep going once you are outside of evacuation zones to allow room for others
- Remain there until an official all-clear message from Civil Defence
- Stay up-to-date via radio, TV or social media
- Share warning information with family, neighbours and friends in tsunami evacuation zones
- Stay off beaches and shore areas and out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries – this includes boats)
- Do not go sightseeing.
The first wave may not be the most significant – there may be multiple waves which continue for a number of hours.
Tsunami evacuation zone maps
For information on evacuation areas for Northland in the event of an Earthquake or a Tsunami warning, find the Tsunami evacuation maps
We encourage you to:
- Familiarise yourself with tsunami zones relevant to your home, workplace or holiday destination
- Create and practice a household emergency plan - find information at:
- Have a getaway kit or grab bag in case you need to leave in a hurry - find helpful resources at: