Tsunami evacuation zones

If a tsunami warning is in effect, it will be posted on the National Emergency Management Agency website: civildefence.govt.nz and in the yellow box on the top right hand side of our website homepage.

We encourage you to:

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, or
  • 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.

Official warnings

Civil Defence warnings to evacuate your area - when possible - will come via:

Immediate evacuation

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 - Civil Defence Northland Facebook
  • 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.