Tsunami alert testing

by Ann van Engelen

Next Sunday, April 5 will mark the end of daylight savings, which is when the  Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has traditionally tested the tsunami siren network in coastal communities throughout the region.

“After some consideration, we have decided to go ahead with the test, as usual, this time around. It’s the right thing to do for a number of reasons,” says Group manager Graeme MacDonald.

“The tsunami risk is the same as it has ever been — much as we might wish we could tell you otherwise. We can carry out the test without risk to the volunteers who help us monitor the sirens, and we need to continue to maintain this valuable warning system that has been built-up around the region for more than a decade.

“We realise that people are unsettled right now, and that is completely understandable. We are also aware that there are people in the region who may not have been here before at the time of one of the six-monthly tests. 

“You can help by letting friends and neighbours know during the course of the week by a phone call, text or other forms of messaging and reminding people on the day.

“Although traditionally the tests are a time for interaction with the public, this time around just note the siren sound and carry on with what you were doing.

“The sirens will sound, and lights will flash at 10am for 10 minutes and again at 10.30am for 30 seconds. A notification will be sent out through the Red Cross Hazard App nearer the day.”

The test is in conjunction with the Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council, Northpower and Top Energy NZ.