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Tsunami warning remains in place for Gisborne district

GISBORNE CDEM GROUP EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE

MEDIA RELEASE

Date/time: 5pm, 17 September 2015 Release No: 2

Tsunami warning remains in place for Gisborne district

Gisborne residents are advised to stay out of the water and off the beaches and wharves from tonight until midday’s tsunami warning is lifted.

Gisborne Civil Defence Emergency Manager Louise Bennett says waves or tidal surges of between 30 and 40 centimetres are predicted to reach East Cape shortly aftermidnight.

“However, this could occur later than midnight and the first activity may not be the most significant,” she says. “Strong currents and unusual tidal action could continue for up to several days. These present a risk to people in or near the water at river mouths, marinas, jetties and around rocks and wharves.”

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and scientific advisors continue to assess the threat. The warning follows an 8.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile late this morning.

“We advise 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.”

Emergency services have extra resources on standby should they be required.

Notices have been put up at Gisborne’s port advising of the tsunami threat. The port has no large ships berthed today but two fishing vessels were expected to discharge their catches early tomorrow morning. A port spokesman said they would assess the situation to ensure the vessels and their occupants remained safe.

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

Mrs Bennett said the tsunami threat should continue to be taken seriously until the warning is lifted.

“We will continue to monitor the developing situation overnight.”


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