Aotearoa New Zealand coastlines are prone to tsunami. A tsunami may be cause by earthquakes, underwater landslides, large coastal cliff or lake landslides, or underwater volcanic eruptions.

Tsunami can happen at any time of the year. Some tsunami can be very large and can rapidly come, and can cause damage.

Prepare for a tsunami

  • Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there.
  • Develop a Whānau Emergency Plan. Use this template –  [Whānau Emergency Plan]
  • Prepare your Emergency Go Bag with food, water and other important supplies.

If a tsunami is expected

  • If you are near the coast and you feel an earthquake that’s longer than a minute or so strong it’s difficult to stand, you need to drop cover, and hold during the shaking. When the shaking stops, move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can.
  • Your local Civil Defence will issue a tsunami alert. But you don’t need to wait for this to evacuate to safety.
  • Take your Emergency Go Bag, and the rest of your whānau and pets. You may be able to head to your whānau members who are outside of the tsunami evacuation zone.

During tsunami evacuation

  • Move quickly to higher ground or as far from the coastline as possible.
  • Do not return to coastal areas and evacuated areas until authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • If you are not at home when a tsunami alert is raised, do not return home. Meet your whānau at your planned evacuation place.
  • Check in with your other whānau, friends or neighbours once you are in a safe place.

After a tsunami

  • Listen to news or updates and instructions from Civil Defence. The tsunami may have damaged roads, bridges, or other places that may be unsafe.
  • If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right equipment and skills to help.
  • Stay away from coastal water, tidal estuaries, rivers and streams for at least 24 hours after any tsunami warning, as even small waves create dangerous currents.
  • Use extreme caution when re-entering your home. Stay out if water remains around it.