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Emergency management for Tairāwhiti district

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Tsunami evacuation maps

Check the evacuation maps for the city and coastal communities

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Monitor hourly updates to rainfall, predicted and actual river levels

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Check the closed roads and those requiring caution

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Tsunami inundation zones update

11 December 2019

Like other council’s around the country, Gisborne District Council have commissioned a report to understand the effects of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake on our region. 

GNS(external link) has been asked to peer review that report and the maps, given the significance of changes proposed to our current evacuation areas.

This peer review is an important part of ensuring that the guidance we provide to our community is the best that it can be.

Understandably, our community have been calling for the release of the new maps and we will release this information as soon as we can. 

In the meantime it's extremely important that as a coastal community, we do not wait for the release of revised maps or an official warning to be prepared for a tsunami.  

The best time to prepare is right now and use the natural signs as our warning.   

If it’s long OR strong be gone – long being more than one minute – strong being you can hardly stand – move quickly to higher ground or go inland.

We’re extremely encouraged to hear that some schools self-evacuated tamariki yesterday following the 5.3 earthquake.    

NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency established on 1 December 2019, replaces Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management) have recently announced the launch of a new monitoring system for Tsunami off the coast on New Zealand. Sensor equipment is aimed at providing consistent warnings via the emergency mobile alert service.

Find more information about NZ DART buoy network and evacuation planning at link).

If you would like to discuss further, please contact us

Earthquake 10 December 12.58pm

Magnitude 5.3, depth 29km, 20km south of Gisborne.

No tsunami threat – the earthquake was a strong shake that was widely felt but the duration was short indicating no tsunami threat.

Information on a locally generated tsunami

For a locally generated tsunami - it will be preceded by a very strong felt earthquake (strong that you can hardly stand) or a slow earthquake (one that goes for over one minute)
self evacuation is the only option. Move quickly to higher ground or go inland.

The earthquake will be your only warning and you need to make the decision, if you're in the danger area, whether to go or stay.  

All the evacuation maps have both local and distant evacuation zones on them.  

You only need to get clear of the evacuation areas not miles inland or on top of the highest peak.

If you're on a part of the coast that isn't covered by one of the maps and you're evacuating you should get as far inland or as high as you can within a 20 -30 minute time frame (that's walking quickly not driving).

If you can take a transistor radio you can listen for the all clear or otherwise you should wait 2 hours before returning home - if no tsunami has been generated.

Being prepared for a disaster

It's important that you're prepared for a disaster. Get ready now so that you're better prepared to cope on your own for up to 3 days or more.

As a minimum, everyone needs: 

♦ enough food in your home to last 2-3 days.
♦ know where to get water, if your usual supply is not available.  
♦ alternative lighting - a torch with spare batteries or a wind up one, gas lantern or light-sticks. 
♦ a battery operated or wind up radio and spare batteries - don't forget your car radio as a last resort. 
♦ a first-aid kit, make sure you have essential medications. 
♦ blankets, survival blankets or warm waterproof clothing. 
♦ alternative cooking methods - BBQ or gas cooker. 
♦ to store important family documents where you can get them easily
♦ an emergency plan - where to meet family and how to contact one another if separated.

Useful links

Rain and river levels - check environmental monitoring 
For local road conditions - check our road updates 
For state highway updates - go to NZTA's website(external link) 
For latest weather forecast - go to the Metservice website(external link) 

Find out if you live or work in a Tsunami hazard area and what is a tsunami

We will broadcast over these stations during an emergency: 945 kHz AM - Talkback ZB  |  585 kHz AM - Radio Ngati Porou  |  90.9 FM - ZGFM  |  98.1 FM - Radio Ngati Porou  |  98.9 FM - More FM (Urban Gisborne)  |  90.1 FM - More FM (rural areas)  |  94.9 FM - Radio Live  |  95.7 FM - Turanga FM  |  88.5 FM - Uawa

Review of our CDEM function

An internal review of Tairawhiti Civil Defence and Emergency Management was carried out in December 2018. Here's a summary of the 40 recommendations presented to the CDEM Meeting 9 May 2019(external link)