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Update on Tsunami from earthquake in Chile - 7am 18/9/15

Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

Media release

Friday 18 September 2015

Update on Tsunami from earthquake in Chile

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management reports that the first tsunami wave following the earthquake in Chile reached New Zealand just before midnight (11.50pm) at the Chatham Islands.

In the Chatham Islands, waves of around 50cm were experienced in places, repeated ebbing and flowing of the tide, along with ocean noises associated with tide surge. A few families in who live two-to-three metres off shore self-evacuated.

Minor fluctuations in sea-level have been recorded in North Cape, Great Barrier Island, Tauranga, East Cape, Gisborne, Napier, Castlepoint, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch. These have been estimated to be no more than 30 cm.

The wave heights have been within those anticipated by the Tsunami Expert Panel.

As it gets lighter, local Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups will be assessing their regions.

Unusual marine and coastal activity can be expected for around 24 hours after the first wave. There could be continued unpredictable activity, ebbing and flowing and strong currents.

The national warning remains in place. People in coastal areas of the Chatham Islands and the East Coast of New Zealand should continue to:
- Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
- Stay off beaches and shore areas
- Do not go sightseeing
- Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
- Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
- Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities

The Tsunami Expert Panel will be convening this morning, and a further update will be provided afterwards.


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