Tsunami could strike New Zealand before public officially alerted

Source(s)
Newshub

By Scott Palmer

Experts warn that if a tsunami strikes New Zealand, there might not be enough time to issue an official warning.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management sends out warnings via the media and through its Emergency Mobile Alert service - while some coastal communities have sirens to alert the public to head to higher ground.

Last weekend, Auckland tested its tsunami sirens as part of its disaster management preparations, blaring a series of tones across the Rodney and Waitakere ward areas.

But if a local tsunami struck, GNS Science senior tsunami scientist Dr William Power says it could hit so quickly there wouldn't be time to activate these emergency measures.

"In the case of locally-generated tsunamis, it is unlikely that official warnings will be issued before damaging waves arrive. So people in coastal areas should take immediate action," he told Newshub.

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Modelling by GNS Science indicates there's a 1 in 300 chance per year of a tsunami 3m or more affecting the Auckland region, most likely to be caused by an undersea earthquake or an undersea or coastal landslide.

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