New tsunami information boards for Whangarei beaches

16 Oct 2017, 3:28 PM

Whangarei beachgoers can now boost their tsunami readiness using new information boards at popular district beaches. 

“With summer coming, more people than ever will be going to the beach. We want to help beachgoers, boaties, fishers and tourists to be better prepared,” says Victoria Randall, Northland Civil Defence Officer, Whangarei district.

Nine Whangarei District Council-funded Northland Civil Defence tsunami information boards have been put up at the following locations:

  • Ruakaka (three) - Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club carpark, Mair Road carpark and Ruakaka racecourse beach accessway
  • One Tree Point (two) - One Tree Point boat ramp and Marsden Cove marina
  • Uretiti (two) - public carpark on foreshore near the Department of Conservation campground and Tip Road carpark
  • Tutukaka Coast (two) – Tutukaka boat ramp and Ngunguru estuary near the shops.

“These information boards add to the suite of already-available tsunami notification and education options,” Ms Randall says.

The large information boards, in distinctive civil defence blue and yellow colours, are part of a six-month pilot with more expected to follow.

Each of the boards has been erected in a coastal tsunami evacuation zone which features prominently as a large colour-coded map on the signage.

“Any time people are at or near the beach, they’re in a tsunami evacuation zone. People need to make sure they’re aware of where they are in the zone and where to go to if needing to get to safety fast.”

The local tsunami evacuation zone maps include clearly marked areas that are safe for people to head to if a tsunami’s coming. These are shaded green.

“Go to the maps, work out where in the safe zone you’ll go to if required. Being prepared matters when minutes count,” Ms Randall says.

The locally-made boards also contain important information about simple ways to find out if a tsunami is coming. This includes clues from surrounding nature such as out-of-the-ordinary sea behaviour plus tsunami sirens, text alerts, social media, family and friends.

“Everybody will use whatever works best for them as individuals when it comes to selecting methods they want to use to find out about a potential tsunami,” Ms Randall says.

“People need to know how to find out if a tsunami is coming and where to find more information along with where to go to safety and planning their route to get there".

“Pre-planning helps people to react more quickly to a potential tsunami.”

The information boards are particularly important for tourists, providing first-time local tsunami information for some.

“It could be as simple as alerting them to the fact they are in a tsunami evacuation zone and therefore need to be prepared and think about where to go to safety,” Ms Randall says.

Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management logo.