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If an earthquake is long or strong, get gone

Published: 16 December 2016

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If an earthquake is long or strong, get gone.

The 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks have highlighted New Zealand’s risk of earthquake and tsunami.

In Auckland, the risk of earthquake is much lower than in other parts of the country, but we are still vulnerable to tsunami.

Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management is supporting an intensive three-month national earthquake and tsunami preparedness campaign.

The campaign, called ‘Long or Strong, Get Gone’ is about encouraging people to act quickly to protect themselves and loved ones in the event of a tsunami.

Here are some valuable tips to keep your family prepared and safe in the event of a tsunami in Auckland.

Be prepared

  1. Visit Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management for tsunami zone maps for your area, then plan your evacuation route.
  2. Learn your tsunami zones for work, home and anywhere you might be visiting and make sure you know where to go no matter what part of Auckland you’re in. If you’re going out of Auckland over the holidays and you are by the coast, make sure you know where to go and what to do.
  3. Check with your kids’ school to find out what their tsunami evacuation plans are so you know where to pick up the kids when it’s safe.
  4. Make a plan with those you care about and those who might need your help. Don’t forget pets.
  5. Make sure you sign up to receive emergency alerts via the Red Cross Hazards app or Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management  SMS or email.

What to do

  1. If an earthquake’s long or strong, get gone. If you are near the coast and feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a rolling earthquake that lasts longer than a minute, move immediately to high ground, or as far inland as possible. The earthquake is your first warning – tsunami waves can arrive within minutes. Do not wait for official advice or warning systems.
  2. If evacuating, try to walk or cycle, not drive.
  3. If you do not have time to move to higher ground or inland, go to an upper storey of a sturdy building.
  4. Do not go sightseeing. Never go to look for a tsunami.

After a tsunami

  1. Listen to the radio, watch TV or check social media for instructions.
  2. Do not return to the evacuation zones until given the all-clear.
  3. Be aware that there may be more than one wave and that later waves may be bigger than the first. It may not be safe for up to 24 hours, or longer.
  4. Be careful re-entering homes or buildings as they may be damaged.
  5. Look for any broken utility lines and report them to appropriate authorities.

Find out more about tsunami survival.