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Kermadec Tsunami Warning - Lessons Learned

On 5 March 2021, there were three offshore earthquakes – the first near East Cape, followed by 7.4 and 8.1 magnitude earthquakes in the Kermadec Islands area. The last of these resulted in tsunami warnings and evacuations in Northland.

The Kermadecs are a group of four volcanic islands located about 800 to 100km northeast of Whakatāne, joined to New Zealand by 30 active volcanoes. This seismically-active area represents a risk to Northland (and other regions) because of the relatively short wave travel times for tsunami generated by earthquakes (or undersea volcanoes or landslides).

These animations summarise the key lessons learned from the events of 5 March – they are the ‘easy fixes’ which will make future evacuations run more smoothly.

No audio on these animations.

#1- Know your zone

#2 - If you hear a tsunami siren, seek more information


#3 - Walk, bike or run if possible in an evacuation

#4 - Take essential items - have a grab bag ready to go


#5 - Help schools, their staff and your children, stay calm and manage the situation

#6 - All businesses need to plan and prepare for emergencies


#7 - The natural warning signs of a tsunami generated close to the coast that could arrive ahead of any official warning