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Experts Gather To Discuss NZ's Tsunami Threat

Experts Gather To Discuss New Zealand's Tsunami Threat

Tsunami specialists from throughout New Zealand will this week attend a two-day seminar on tsunamis with the theme of saving lives through science, education, and communication.

Keynote speaker is Professor Lori Dengler, a seismologist at Humbolt State University, Arcata, California. She is a member of the steering committee of the US National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Programme.

Convenors Gaye Downes, of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS), James Goff, of GeoEnvironmental Consultants, and Roy Walters of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA), said that underlying the seminar was the recognition that the best understanding of tsumamis came from collaboration of specialists from many disciplines who, in turn, needed to work with emergency managers, planners, engineers, and the insurance industry to ensure information gets into the community.

Among topics to be discussed will be past tsunamis, hazard assessment techniques, tsunami sources, coastal engineering, tsunami propagation, tsunami warning systems, emergency management needs, public education, and community preparedness.

The seminar, scheduled for February 7 and 8, is being held at Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. On Thursday evening there will be a field trip to Kapiti Island to inspect a lagoon where tsunami deposits have been found.

Sponsors of the event are GNS, NIWA, the Earthquake Commission, and Christchurch-based GeoEnvironmental Consultants.

Following the seminar, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management will host a one-day workshop for emergency managers at the Police College in Wellington on February 12. It will focus on what civil defence emergency managers, who have responsibility for dealing with reduction, readiness, and response to a tsunami event, need from the scientific community to help them do their job better.


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