Tsunami

All of New Zealand's coastline is at risk from tsunami. Remember during a tsunami warning, or after an earthquake, Long or Strong, Get Gone. 

Every household should create and practice a Household Emergency Plan. It's also important to have emergency survival items and a getaway kit. As well as this, every household should plan and practice what to do in the event of a tsunami. A tsunami is a series of waves caused by large earthquakes.

What to do

If you are at the coast and 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 sea level
  • Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can. Walk or bike if possible.

  1. Determine your risk.
  2. Prepare members of your household.
  3. Learn and practice evacuation routes.
  4. Actively protect your home.
  5. Stay informed and follow instructions. But please remember, do not wait for official warnings. There may not be time for an official warning, so it is important to take your safety into your own hands, and act quickly.
  6. Move to higher ground.
  7. Take care of yourself and help others.
  8. Watch for hazards.

Download our hazard app to help you make it safely through a disaster.

More information on how to prepare for and what to do if there is a tsunami:

Civil Defence guide - What to do if there's risk of a tsunami (PDF)

More about tsunamis

More information about tsunamis, including tsunami zone maps and the risk in your area, is available on the Civil Defence website.

It is important to remember that not all earthquakes will generate a tsunami and that earthquakes are not the only sign of an impending tsunami. It is critical to know what to do if you are in a vulnerable area. You can also:

  • Learn whether tsunami have previously occurred in your area by contacting your local council or visiting the GNS Science website.
  • Find out about the tsunami risk in your area.
  • Check the flooding elevation for your house.
  • Follow Civil Defence on social media:
  1. Twitter - @NZCivilDefence and @NZGetThru
  2. Facebook - NZ Get Thru