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Tsunami warning signs

The first and best tsunami warning is an earthquake. Do not wait for official warnings.

Tsunami warning signs

  • Any earthquake that lasts a long time (more than a minute). 
  • A big earthquake that is very strong (knocks you off your feet or is very difficult to stand up in).
  • Strange ocean behaviour, like loud or strange noises, sudden change in sea level, or ocean drawing away from the shore.

If any of these things happen, don’t wait for an official warning. Grab your emergency pack and walk as quickly as you are able to a safe location or to high ground.

What about alert systems and sirens?

Warning systems are useful for tsunami that come would from regional or distance sources (greater than 2 hours away). Civil Defence has a suite of warning systems. Subscribe to emergency alerts at www.bopcivildefence.govt.nz
Alert systems are the topic of earnest, ongoing conversation – but a big earthquake is the first and best warning for the tsunami that could overtop the dunes. The most important thing is to be aware of the natural warning signs so that you can make your own decision to evacuate if there is an earthquake.

Long strong tsunami

Last Reviewed: 13/11/2017


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