Northland tsunami siren network testing early April

13 Mar 2018

Tsunami sirens from Te Hapua to Mangawhai will be tested when daylight saving ends Sunday, 01 April.

Northland’s 184 sirens will sound on the afternoon of Easter Sunday 01 April - firstly at noon for 10 minutes and then again at 12.30pm for just 30 seconds.

Victoria Randall, spokesperson for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says this year’s end-of-daylight-saving testing is later in the day than the normal morning time slot due to 01 April also being Easter Sunday.

To hear what Northland tsunami sirens sound like visit www.nrc.govt.nz/tsunamisirens

 Nineteen new Northland-produced tsunami sirens are expected to have been installed ahead of the 01 April testing. The new additions, some of which have already been installed on selected local power poles, are part of an ongoing programme to boost Northland siren numbers. They are being put in place over six months between the last tsunami siren testing (in September 2017) and coming April testing. The new sirens are in Langs Beach, Onerahi, Mangawhai, Ruakaka, Tutukaka, Waipu and Whangarei Heads.

Northland has more tsunami sirens than any other region in the country with 104 sirens in the Whangarei district, 59 in the Far North and 21 in the Kaipara district.

“Tsunami sirens are a critical part of Northland’s tsunami alerting,” Ms Randall says.

The sirens are being tested as part of regular twice-yearly checks to ensure the sirens are all working correctly.

Should there be a genuine tsunami warning, the sound of the sirens is an indicator to local communities to immediately seek further information from sources including:

Ms Randall says Northlanders should use siren testing as a time to boost tsunami preparedness. This could be done in several ways.

People need to find out if they live, work or play in a tsunami evacuation zone by checking out Northland tsunami evacuation maps at www.nrc.govt.nz/evacuatenow

“They should also work out where they’re going to evacuate to if necessary, how they’ll get to that evacuation point, time how long the evacuation will take and consider how they’ll keep in touch with family and friends if evacuated.“

Ms Randall says coastal households in tsunami evacuation areas need to plan well in advance, particularly for tsunami generated on or close to New Zealand’s coast. They need to know natural warning signs – earthquakes (either strong with shaking ground or weak and rolling lasting at least a minute), unusual sea behaviour including a sudden sea level fall or rise and/or loud and unusual sea noises, particularly roaring like a jet engine.