Waitakere tsunami siren tests a success
29 April 2008
First wave of Waitakere tsunami siren tests a success
Thirty new tsunami siren systems installed in 13 coastal locations around Waitakere received top marks in their first round of tests.
The newly-installed Meerkat sirens, placed in strategic locations on Waitakere’s west and east coasts, were tested over a three-minute period at midday on Sunday 27 April. The test comprised a one minute burst of ‘alert’, ‘evacuate’ and ‘all clear’ signals, with a 15-second pause between each test.
“Overall, the activation system worked perfectly and reports from the field indicate that, with one exception, the sirens were heard loud and clear in the areas they were intended to penetrate,’ says Waitakere’s Emergency Management Manager, Bill Morley.
“The exception was one of the sirens at Huia which, although working perfectly, was not heard very well by some people. A directional position change for the siren is likely to rectify that.”
Mr Morley says while 10 calls were received from Te Atatu Peninsula residents concerned that they didn’t hear the siren properly, or at all, in all these cases the residents lived in ‘safe zones’ where there was no intended siren penetration.
Future tests of the system will be conducted at midday on the Sunday of the change of daylight saving each year.
The next phase of the siren project includes the use of recently-approved national standard tsunami signage to highlight potentially at-risk zones, along with safe zones and evacuation routes.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the siren system should visit the Waitakere City Council website www.waitakere.govt.nz and search under Civil Defence.