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Tsunami threat to New Zealand - Marine threat confirmed #7

Saturday, 12 March 2011 3:50 a.m.

A tsunami marine warning is in effect for New Zealand:
The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by MCDEM.


An earthquake has occurred with these parameters:

Origin time:

0545Z 11 March 2011

NZ time:

1846NZDT 11 March 2011

Co-ordinates:

38.2 North 142.5 East

Depth:

24km

Location:

Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan

Magnitude:

8.9

The above magnitude is provisional and may be increased or decreased as more seismic data becomes available.   


Summary:

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has activated and is monitoring the situation.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has issued a Tsunami Warning for New Zealand in response to the above earthquake. Confirmation has been received that a tsunami was generated.  Wave heights of up to 4 metres have been measured in coastal Japan. 

The New Zealand Tsunami Expert Panel assessment is that there is a marine and minor land threat only for parts of the upper North Island coasts of New Zealand. 

Based on real-time tsunami modelling and comparison with historical events, the interpretation is that a minor land threat (i.e. wave heights just over 1 m) now exists in Northland between Ahipara and the Karikari Peninsula as well as in the Bay of Islands and the Chatham Islands. A minor land threat means there is a small potential for impacts on beaches in these areas. A marine threat (i.e. threat to the coastal marine area and small boats) remains in place for the northern North Island from Kaipara to Ahipara and south of the Karikari Peninsula to Gisborne.

See the attached threat level map and threat zone table  for further details.

The first wave to arrive to New Zealand will be in the area around North Cape at approximately 0623NZDT 12 March 2011. A tsunami is a series of waves or surges and the first wave may arrive later and may not be the largest. The largest arrivals are anticipated from about 0800 NZDT and expected to last for several (at least five) hours. Tsunami activity such as unusual currents and changes in sea-level will continue for several hours after first arrivals. Tsunami wave heights cannot be accurately predicted and can vary significantly along a coast due to local effects. 

Only messages issued by MCDEM represent the official warning status for New Zealand.  Local civil defence authorities may supplement these messages by applying local threat assessments. 

People in coastal areas should:

1. Stay off beaches

2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)

3. Do not go sightseeing

4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates

6. Follow instructions of your local Civil Defence authorities.

MCDEM and scientific advisors are closely monitoring the situation to determine the severity of the threat to New Zealand.

 

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group information

Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has activated and is monitoring the situation.

The expected arrival time in the Bay of Plenty is about 7.20am

The Whakatāne River Bar has been declared unworkable.

For more media information please contact Bronwyn Campbell, Group Public Information Manager on 021 287 9380.

 

Tauranga-Western Bay Civil Defence Information

A marine threat (ie threat to beach, sea and in estuarine areas) remains in place for the Bay of Plenty.  A marine threat means strong and unusual currents are possible in the sea, river mouths and estuaries, and unusual wave activity is possible at the beach.  No land threat is expected at this time.

The main message for the public right now is to stay away from the beaches and waterways - this includes all boating activity.   The Harbourmasters advise that the highest risk is with people launching and retrieving boats during a wave event.

Council staff will be at all boat ramps before dawn advising people not to launch boats or small watercraft during the time of most risk.

The National Rescue Coordination Centre (marine) is sending advisories every 30 mins to ships and boats already at sea.

The Coastguard, marinas and Surf Lifesaving people have been alerted.   It is too early to say how any wave may affect the western bay but we will know more as the situation develops.

People in coastal areas should:

1. Stay off beaches

2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)

3. Do not go sightseeing

4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates

6. Follow instructions of your local Civil Defence authorities.

 

Contact:

Elizabeth Hughes

Public Information Manager

027 277 1259

 

Useful websites:

 www.civildefence.govt.nz

www.getthru.govt.nz

www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz

www.geonet.org.nz

www.nzta.govt.nz

 

 

ENDS