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CDEM tsunami warning 14 – wave activity stabilises

Press Release – Civil Defence Emergency Management

As at 11:15 NZDT, 28 February 2010, wave activity as reported on tsunami gauges appears to have stabilised at the previously-reported levels (approximately 1.0 metres at the Chatham Islands, 0.3 metres at East Cape, Napier, Castlepoint, Tauranga and North …National Warning: Tsunami Threat to New Zealand
Update: Tsunami confirmed

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No: 14
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Issued at 12 :15 hours on 28 February 2010.

Issued by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM).

A tsunami warning is in effect for New Zealand:
The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by MCDEM.
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An earthquake has occurred with these parameters:
Origin time: 0634Z 27 FEB 2010
NZ time: 1934 NZDT 27 FEB 2010
Co-ordinates: 36.1 SOUTH 72.6 WEST
Depth: 55 KM
Location: NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL CHILE
Magnitude: 8.8
The above magnitude is provisional and may be increased or decreased as more seismic data becomes available.

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Summary:

As at 11:15 NZDT, 28 February 2010, wave activity as reported on tsunami gauges appears to have stabilised at the previously-reported levels (approximately 1.0 metres at the Chatham Islands, 0.3 metres at East Cape, Napier, Castlepoint, Tauranga and North Cape, and 0.4 metres in Gisborne). Tsunami propogation models and historic data indicate that larger waves may follow the initial wave arrival times by 6 to 12 hours. There may also be strong surges and rapid rises in sea level in some places. The situation continues to be closely monitored.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has issued a Tsunami Warning in response to the above earthquake.

Only messages issued by MCDEM represent the official warning status for New Zealand. Local civil defence authorities may supplement these messages by applying local threat assessments.

Confirmation has been received that a tsunami was generated. A wave measuring 2.34 metres was measured at Talcahuano, Chile and 0.35 metres at Easter Island, Chile. A wave measuring 0.16 metres was recorded in Apia, Samoa and a wave measuring 0.10 metres in Nukualofa, Tonga. A 1.5 metre wave has been reported at Pitt Island in the Chatham Islands. Further arrival times and wave heights for New Zealand mainland coastal areas are noted in the table below.

Based on modelling and measured waves arriving in New Zealand, the interpretation of the Tsunami Experts Panel is that a marine threat (i.e. threat to beach and small boats corresponding to wave heights less than 1 metre) still exists for the entire east coasts of the North and South Island from Puysegur around to Cape Reinga and extending south to Ahipara. Some land threat also still exists for the Chatham Islands and Banks Peninsula i.e. wave heights between 1 and 3 metres. There may be some small observable sea level changes on parts of the west coast of both islands.

Wave heights refer to maximum water level relative to the normal sea level at the beach. This does not take tides into account. Based on historical events it is expected that the greatest wave heights could occur between 6 and 12 hours after the initial arrivals.

People in coastal areas should:

1. Stay off beaches
2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
3. Do not go sightseeing
4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
6. Follow instructions of your local Civil Defence authorities.

MCDEM and scientific advisors are closely monitoring the situation to determine the severity of the threat to New Zealand.

This warning has been issued to all local civil defence authorities, emergency services, other agencies and media.
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Information for emergency managers:

Estimates of expected wave arrival times are as follows:

Note: These times are provisional and based on the best information available. Arrival times may be as much as one hour later and may be adjusted in subsequent messages.
Location Estimated Wave Arrival Time – Updated
Chatham Islands-Kaingaroa 0752 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived
Chatham Islands-Waitangi 0735 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 1.0m
North Cape 0920 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 0.3m
Whangarei 0945 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived
Auckland (North Head) 1052 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived
Mt Maunganui 0904 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 0.3m
East Cape 0824 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 0.3m
Gisborne 0829 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 0.4m
New Plymouth 1126 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Napier 0853 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived – height 0.3m
Wanganui 1020 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Wellington 0855 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived
Nelson 1035 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Marlborough Sounds (Tory Channel) 0908 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Westport 1038 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Greymouth 1020 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Christchurch (New Brighton) 0935 NZDT 28 February 2010 – arrived
Timaru 0910 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Milford Sound 0935 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Dunedin 0900 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Bluff 0928 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived
Stewart Island 0951 NZDT 28 February 2010 – no reports or gauge data, but assumed to have arrived

Local civil defence emergency management is advised to:

1. Activate appropriate response arrangements
2. Alert potentially at-risk communities as appropriate
3. Stand by for further information
4. Inform the NCMC of actions taken.

Local emergency services should act in coordination with local Civil Defence Emergency Management.

MCDEM has activated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with public broadcasters to broadcast this warning.
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NCMC status:

The National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) is activated.

General enquiries (04) 494 6900
Media enquiries (04) 494 6951
Email operations@ncmc.govt.nz

Satellite phone 00881 621 465 606
HF radio call sign ZKC21

Useful websites:
http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/
http://www.getthru.govt.nz/

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Further updates:

A further update with more information will follow within the next hour. Until a cancellation is issued updates will continue at least hourly. All further updates will be communicated by MCDEM via the national warning system.
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Issued by:

Message authorised by the National Controller, Civil Defence Emergency Management.
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End of Message

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