Thursday, May 01, 2014

Tsunami safety in Auckland

Much of coastal New Zealand is at risk of tsunami, and a lot of Auckland, which is built on an isthmus, is particularly vulnerable. Now we have a tool to evaluate that risk.

Auckland Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Management has made an easy way to evaluate the threat from tsunami. Aucklanders need only go to the Tsunami Evacuation Maps, then click on their Local Board area. What pops up is a map of that Local Board area, often with squares drawn around specific areas that have some tsunami risk. Clicking on one of the squares (if any) opens a downloadable PDF map of that specific area, showing the risks within that area.

Risk areas are marked in one of three colours: Red is a Shore Exclusion Zone and should be avoided for 24 hours after an earthquake. Next are the Orange Evacuation Zone and the Yellow Evacuation Zone. Council advise that if the Red and Orange Zones need to be evacuated, there will be sufficient time to issue a warning. That may not be the case with the Yellow Zone—or any zone in a severe earthquake.

Their specific advice is that “In the case of a large earthquake (one it is hard to stand up in), unusual noises from the ocean, or changes in the ocean (e.g. the ocean rushing in or out), or you feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts for more than a minute,” then people should “Evacuate all zones. A wave may arrive within minutes or take more than an hour to arrive. The bottom line, as always, is to be prepared to move quickly because time to get to safety may be short.”

Earlier today, I looked at the map for our specific area and found we’re well within a part of the area deemed to be safe. There’s a Shore Exclusion Zone a few minutes away, but the nearest Orange or Yellow Zone is quite a way from us. The infamous hilly terrain of Auckland’s North Shore definitely works to our advantage, keeping us safe from tsunami risk.

I knew all this already, having looked at risk maps in the past, but I think it’s great that Auckland Council has made it so easy for anyone within the Council’s borders to check out tsunami risks for themselves. It makes it that much easier to Get Ready, Get Thru.

1 comment:

rogerogreen said...

Besides the tornadoes in the south, massive flooding in Pensacola, FL area (which led to 2 jail prisoners being killed) all the way to NJ.