All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. And although rare, tsunamis can happen at Lake Taupō or other lakes in New Zealand. Knowing the warning signs and the right action to take can help save lives - don’t wait for an official tsunami warning.
When you're near the coast, if an earthquake is Long and Strong, Get Gone! Move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as possible.
In the case of Lake Taupō, when you're near the lake front, if an earthquake is Long and Strong, Get Gone - that is, you should move to higher ground as soon as it is safe to do so, especially if you hear loud noises or see unusual lake action during earthquake activity.
Find out what to do before, during and after a tsunami.
Find out your tsunami risk
Coastal tsunami evacuation zone maps and advice can be found on the Get Ready website.
Review your insurance regularly
Ensure that you have appropriate insurance cover for your whare/home and contents, it is important to help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a disaster.
Make your home safer
We can't predict disasters, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Find out what you can do to make your home safer.
Find out if the places where you live, work or frequently visit are in tsunami hazard areas. Be aware of tsunami evacuation zones, tsunami evacuation routes, and warning methods and signage.
If you are visiting an area at risk from tsunami, check with the hotel, motel or campground operators for tsunami evacuation information, and find out what the local warning system is for tsunami. It is important to know the evacuation routes before any natural or official warnings.
✔️ Make and practise your emergency plan
✔️ Have your grab bag and emergency supplies ready
✔️ Know how to stay informed. Understand the different types of warnings: Natural, Official and Unofficial.
✔️ Know your tsunami evacuation zones. Make sure you know where to go, whether you are at home, at work or on holiday.
✔️ Regularly practise your tsunami hīkoi (evacuation walk).
Know the natural warning signs and take action
For a local source tsunami, which could arrive in minutes, there won’t be time for an official warning. It is important to recognise the natural warning signs and act quickly. Remember, LONG or STRONG, GET GONE.
If there is earthquake shaking, drop, cover and hold. Protect yourself from the earthquake first, then act as soon as the shaking stops.
If you are near the coast, you need to act immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more.
- See a sudden rise or fall in water level.
- Hear loud and unusual noises from the water.
Walk, run or cycle if at all possible to reduce the chances of getting stuck in traffic congestion.
Take your animals with you only if it will not delay you. Do not spend time looking for them and if you are not at home, do not return to get them.
While evacuating, avoid hazards caused by earthquake damage, especially fallen power lines.
Do not return until you get an official all-clear message from Civil Defence. Tsunami activity can continue for several hours, and the first wave may not be the largest. If there was an earthquake, expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold. Aftershocks may generate another tsunami.
Only return home once you are told it is safe to do so
Listen to the radio or follow your Civil Defence Emergency Management Group online. They will give you information and instructions. If there was an earthquake, expect more shaking. More earthquake shaking may generate another tsunami. Be prepared to evacuate.
Avoid areas impacted by the tsunami
Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects of tsunami flooding, such as contaminated water, crumbled roads, and other hazards.
Stay away from coastal water
Stay away from coastal water, tidal estuaries, rivers and streams for at least 24 hours after any tsunami or tsunami warning. Even small waves create dangerous currents.
If your property is damaged
- Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
- If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company.
- Take photos of any damage. It will help speed up assessments of your claims.