Northlanders warned to watch for strong tides, currents today

2 Sep 2016

Officials are continuing to urge Northlanders to watch for strong tides and currents today in the wake of the early morning earthquake and small tsunami experienced along parts of the North Island's east coast.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has just cancelled the 'marine and beach threat' warning for the North Coast of the North Island of New Zealand it issued in the wake of the earthquake.

Tony Phipps, Group Controller for the Northland CDEM Group, says based on all available data, the greatest tsunami activity (which saw waves of up to 30cm detected on the East Cape and Great Barrier Island tide gauges) has now passed.

However, the Ministry warns coasts may still experience unusual, strong currents and sea level fluctuations lasting for several more hours.

"In Northland, past experience has shown us that this could lead to unusual and strong currents throughout today in harbours and coastal areas, including places like the Tutukaka Harbour," Mr Phipps says.

He says with the high tide just occurring along Northland's east coast people would be wise to treat the ocean with a little more caution than usual as the severity of currents and changing water flows will vary.

"This includes anyone involved in beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities for the rest of today."