Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages

Media release

1 October 2014

Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami advice in New Zealand.

Based in Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) provides information on all earthquakes in the Pacific which could have a tsunami impact in the Pacific Rim countries and island states. This information is based on data from over 400 seismic stations.

From today, the PTWC will start issuing new, enhanced tsunami messages with some changes to terminology.

The terms ‘Warning’ or ‘Watch’ will no longer be used in PTWC messages. Instead, they will now provide ‘Threat forecast levels’ along coastlines. This change has been made as individual countries are responsible for the safety of their own populations, and therefore the designation of a warning status will be the sole responsibility of the national tsunami warning centre in each country (which is the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management in New Zealand).

PTWC will also no longer issue ‘Tsunami Cancellations’. Instead a ‘Final Threat Message’ will be issued and it will again be the sole responsibility of individual countries to cancel their own warning status if they had designated such a status.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management John Hamilton said it was important to note that even before these changes, only messages issued by the Ministry represented the official tsunami warning/advisory status for New Zealand. This authority remains under the changes to the PTWC system.

“The PTWC messages are a trigger to start a New Zealand response if one is needed,” Mr Hamilton said. “The Ministry uses that information as well as additional assessment by GNS Science to decide the threat status for New Zealand, and our warnings and advisories will continue to be in the same format. It is only the information the media and others may receive from PTWC that will look different.”

Mr Hamilton said the Ministry also wished to remind the public that an official warning was only possible for distant (more than three hours warning time) and regional source (one to three hours warning time) tsunamis.

“For a tsunami generated very close to New Zealand there simply won’t be time for an official warning,” he said. “It is therefore important to prepare before a tsunami and be able to recognise the natural warning signs so you can act quickly.”

If you are at the coast and experience any of the following, then move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as possible:

• Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more;

• See a sudden rise or fall in sea level;

• Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

More information on how to prepare for tsunamis is available online at www.getthru.govt.nz/disasters/tsunami or from your local council.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>

 

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:

Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>

ALSO:

Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>

ALSO:

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages