Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New Report Updates NZ’s Exposure to Tsunami

NEWS RELEASE from GNS Science ]30 SEPTEMBER 2013

New Report Updates NZ’s Exposure to Tsunami

A new report on New Zealand’s tsunami hazards shows some parts of our coast are exposed to greater tsunami hazard than previously thought, while the hazard in other coastal regions is the same or even less.

The findings come from a 220-page GNS Science report that was commissioned by the Ministry for Civil Defence and Emergency Management. It updates a 2005 report on New Zealand’s tsunami hazards, also produced by GNS Science.

The report notes that earthquakes in some offshore areas, while not more likely, could be bigger than previously thought.

This is because there is now more uncertainty about the maximum size of earthquakes on plate boundaries. This means that some local and regional tsunamis could be larger than previously estimated.

Therefore, tsunami generated by nearby offshore ruptures now represent a higher threat, while distant tsunami – from across the Pacific - are a smaller threat than shown in the 2005 report.

The main areas where tsunami pose a greater hazard than previously understood are:

·        the coasts of Northland, the northwest part of Auckland, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninsula, and the Bay of Plenty

·        The North Island’s East Cape and parts of the Wairarapa coast

·        Southland, Stewart Island, Fiordland and Westland.

The estimated maximum tsunami wave heights in some of these areas have increased by about 50 percent.

For the most hazardous areas – Northland, Great Barrier, parts of East Cape and Wairarapa – it is possible that waves could reach 15m above the normal sea level at the shoreline. In contrast, there are parts of the North Island’s west coast where the maximum tsunami height is not expected to exceed 5m.

Report compiler William Power, of GNS Science, said historical evidence showed that dangerous local or regional tsunami occurred in New Zealand every 40 to 50 years on average.

“So it is likely that at least one such event will occur in the lifetime of most New Zealanders.”

Dr Power said it was impossible for estimates of size and frequency to be exact. But underplaying the danger would be irresponsible, as it could put people at risk.

The report incorporates information gathered on the 2004 Indian Ocean, 2009 South Pacific, and 2011 Tohoku tsunamis.

All were produced by quakes that were substantially larger than had been considered likely at those locations.

Scientists believe there are fewer restrictions on the maximum magnitudes of earthquakes that occur at tectonic plate boundaries.

They have developed new scientific models to account for this increased uncertainty about the maximum possible size of earthquakes.

The report, Review of Tsunami Hazard in New Zealand (2013 Update),is available on the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management website: http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/

Key points arising from the report: • The probability of a tsunami has not changed, but the maximum possible size of a tsunami in some areas has increased.

• A large tsunami generated very close to New Zealand would arrive before an official warning could be issued.

• People must know that if they are at the coast and feel a strong earthquake (it is hard to stand up) or a weak earthquake that lasts for a minute or more, then get to high ground or go inland. Do not wait for an official warning.

Councils are responsible for warning communities and developing local plans.

.lock.Comparison_between_2005__2013_reports.doc

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news