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Tsunami siren test on 27 September

Published: 22 September 2020

Auckland’s tsunami siren test will take place at noon on Sunday 27 September 2020, coinciding with the start of daylight saving.

“It’s important to test the sirens to make sure they’re working and to remind Aucklanders what they sound like,” Auckland Emergency Management’s General Manager Kate Crawford says.

“There’s no cause for alarm during the testing and no action is required by the public.”

The tests will sound for two minutes each with one minute between each set.  In an emergency, tones will last for longer. 

Two new recently installed tsunami sirens in Orewa will also be tested for the first time on Sunday. Demonstrating new technology, these sirens produce both a tone and voice instruction.

Click below for an example of the warning produced by the new Orewa sirens:

Get more information on siren testing on the Auckland Emergency Management website.

Sirens are not the only means of alerting the public to a tsunami threat. We use multiple channels to alert the public to an emergency, including Emergency Mobile Alerts, local radio, and Auckland Emergency Management’s social media channels.  

“People can also subscribe to SMS text messaging or email alerts, the Red Cross Hazard smartphone app or engage with us via Twitter and Facebook.

“It’s a good time for families and friends to have conversations about planning for emergencies, especially preparing getaway kits or agreeing on meeting places if you are not together,” Kate says.

Chair of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee, Councillor Sharon Stewart said tsunami siren testing is a good way for people to start a conversation on how they can better prepare themselves in the event of a real emergency.

“It is also important to test that the technology is working well, it would be a disaster if the technology failed when we need it to work the most during a real emergency,” she says.

To sign up for emergency alerts, hear examples of the siren tones and for access to tsunami evacuation zone maps and resources to make an emergency plan visit and follow AEM on Twitter and Facebook.

Testing of the region’s tsunami sirens will only take place during COVID-19 Alert Levels 1 and 2 – and not in Alert Levels 3 and 4.


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