What are tsunami?
Tsunami are long period waves, most often generated by displacement of the sea floor associated with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or landslides.
Tsunami can cause devastation to coastal communities with potential for destruction of coastal infrastructure, property and loss of life from the powerful waves and their inundation of land.
Damage from tsunami of unknown source to Berghan Family Store at Ahipara circa 1916 (Image: Far North Regional Museum).
What can I do to help prepare?
Consult with your local authorities and civil defence representatives to understand and better prepare for tsunami hazard - and get involved with your local community emergency response planning.
Find out about Community Response Plans and if your community has one
Research and reports about tsunami risk and preparedness in New Zealand are available on the National Emergency Management Agency website.
Go the tsunami research section at civildefence.govt.nz to find the preparedness reports
Geophysical setting of the North Island showing two bathymetric wave guides to the northwest (the Chatham Rise acts as a wave guide to tsunamis approaching from across the eastern Pacific Ocean). See more in the Tsunami Sources Study.
Other useful resources
- A Review of Natural Hazards Information for Northland Region (GNS, 2004)
- Tsunami Evacuation Zone Maps online
- Tsunami Risk and Preparedness in New Zealand - National Emergency Management Agency - New Zealand