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Mayor Calls For Region-Wide Siren System

Mayor Calls For Region-Wide Siren System

Rodney District Council’s mayor is calling on other mayors in the region to take immediate steps to mount a coastal network of sirens and early warning systems.

If the region won’t do it, Rodney District should go it alone, says the mayor.

This is in the wake of last Thursday’s early-morning tsunami alert that saw civil defence and emergency services within a hair-breadth of activating emergency evacuation procedures in low-lying areas.

Mr Law says that many Rodney residents were rightly concerned about how they receive notification to evacuate at a time when most would not be listening to media broadcasts.

Although Mr Law accepts that procedures such as door-knocking and street-by-street loud speaker announcements were in place, more was needed, he says.

“What we need and what we now is a network of sirens and other earl-warning devices right along our coastline. Moreover, we need a community education campaign that tells people what to listen for, and what to do if they hear these emergency alerts.”

Mr Law admits that some sirens are in place, and that his own council is already ear-marking $40,000 of operational expenditure a year for the next four years on coastal sirens. But more was needed, he says.

“Ideally it should be on a national basis. At the very least we should be getting together regionally. But, if necessary, I am prepared to go to our council and say that Rodney will do it alone.

“It’s that important.”

ENDS.



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