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Gisborne Civil Defence prepares for potential tsunami

Gisborne Civil Defence prepares for potential tsunami

Gisborne-East Coast residents are being advised to stay out of the water, and off the beaches and wharves from tonight, following an 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile late this morning.

The first tsunami waves or tidal surges may reach East Cape just after midnight tonight.

A tsunami warning for the district’s coastline was issued at midday today and

The Gisborne Civil Defence Emergency Management centre activated soon afterwards.

Gisborne Civil Defence Emergency Manager Louise Bennett advises people to stay out of the sea, rivers and estuaries and not to go sightseeing. Boat-owners are also advised to check and secure their vessels’ moorings.

All civil defence area controllers and police staff in the district have been notified. Updates were provided through social media and the Gisborne District Council website.

“An increased wave height of between 30 to 40cm is expected to reach East Cape just after midnight tonight. This may change. The Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management is updating us hourly,” Mrs Bennett says.

“Strong currents and unusual tidal action is expected over the coming days. These present a risk to people in or near the water at river mouths, marinas, jetties and around rocks and wharves.

“We have a 12-hour lead-in for this and have put our tsunami plan into action. We advise residents to be aware that the largest expected wave is not always the first to arrive. Waves can continue for several hours and often can get larger during this time.”

Residents are asked to follow instructions from Gisborne Civil Defence and listen to local radio and National Radio for updates.

“Please share this information with family, neighbours and friends.”

The warning stays in place until further advised.


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