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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 05:49 pm

Don’t wait to be told there’s a tsunami coming

Jul 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

By Erin Kavanagh-Hall and Jean Eltringham

IF there had been a tsunami warning after last night’s quake, people in tsunami red and yellow zones would have been at risk, especially Porirua.

That’s the view of Kapiti Coast District Council local civil defence manager Bernie Goedhart.

“There is no use waiting to be told in that situation,” he said. “If you can’t stand up, get out.”

He said the council had many ways for people to find out if they are in a red or yellow zone, including on the internet, on local information (Lim) maps, council mail drops and the library.

The council was looking into a text tsunami warning system together with National Civil Defence.

It would involve sending out a simultaneous text to all the numbers registered, rather than having people face a queue.

He also said it was a good opportunity for people to review their emergency response strategies: “Think, what would I do next?”

They could also go through “Exercise Shakeout” on the Get Thru website.

Waitarere Beach Motorcamp manager Michael Annan said there was no need for a tsunami warning because they were not likely to happen on that coast.

She heard some people in Levin were “waking up their kids in the night” and preparing to evacuate.

Older people at the camp were particularly scared. One friend had “eyes like dinner plates”.

However, “everyone is fine this morning” and people have not left the camp after the earthquake.

Peter Handisides, who lives about a kilometre from Waikanae beach said he had no problems, but he heard the quake coming.

Linda Bly, who lives in Nathan Ave 50m from Paraparaumu Beach, said her children slept through it: “I was a bit scared. We [are] fine.”

Jim tucker, who lives with his wife, Lin, in a caravan at Paekakariki Holiday Park, said the van was moving like it was on the road and they wondered if there might be a tsunami.

“We turned Radio New Zealand on, but there was nothing. So we went online.” The Herald website was the only one they could access. It said there was no tsunami warning, so they felt safe.

Kapiti Coast District Council emergency management advisor Gary Spence said he received text alerts five minutes after quake, because of a system where the council can monitor after effects and damage.

During today he was listening out for information from Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, so he would be able to put out alerts in case of another earthquake.

“It was certainly a big shake,” he said. “It was a reminder of how insignificant we are when the earth starts to move.”

He had several calls from Coast residents seeking advice and he advised them to have enough resources to survive for three days.

He also stressed the importance of having a basic getaway kit with “water, torch, walking shoes, warm jacket and a radio with batteries”.

Horizons Regional Council emergency management officer Ross Brannigan said there was no damage in the Horowhenua area.

The council was directing people who call with questions to  the Ministry’s website .

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