From time to time, visitors staying in coastal communities hear a siren sound (especially during hours of darkness) and become concerned that it’s alerting them to a tsunami warning.
Most commonly, the sound they’ve heard is the siren that summons members of the local volunteer fire brigade. These sirens generally have a rise/fall ‘air raid’ type tone.
To help distinguish between the two siren types, audio clips of both are below.
Example - volunteer fire brigade siren (although there are some exceptions):
Northland tsunami siren:
If a tsunami warning is in effect, it will be posted on the National Emergency Management Agency website: www.civildefence.govt.nz and in the yellow box on the top right hand side of our website homepage