Waitaki District Civil Defence & Emergency Management Group advises that the civil defence reponse is stepping down to a monitoring position.
However they say that the unusual wave pattern caused by the tsunami from Chile is likely to continue for several hours, and the size of the waves and surges may vary. Surge waves are being seen at Oamaru and Moeraki Harbour’s and changes in water levels are expected to continue for the rest of the day.
Along the coast and in rivers close to the coast, people can expect surges and higher tides than normal. Boaties should be cautious as strong currents are still a high risk for the next 10-12 hours. Boat ramp areas will not be monitored by CDEM staff so boaties need to take usual precautions.
Advice to people in the Waitaki region is to keep away from the coast, local beaches and estuaries for the rest of the day. Coastal residents who self evacuated may return home, but should stay away from the beach and keep listening to the radio for any further warnings.
Following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile and then created a tsunami, the first waves reached Waitaki District shores after 9:00am on Sunday 28 February, creating a noticeable impact on the shoreline. Waves of between 30 centimetres and up to 1 metre are to be expected for the rest of the day, with unpredictable lapses of time between surge waves. Strong currents and unusual tidal effects will likely continue for the next 10-12 hours.
Civil Defence officials stress that people in coastal areas should:
1. Stay away from beaches for the rest of the day
2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries) including boat ramps and boating activities
3. Be aware that boats are generally safer in water deeper than 30 metres, than if closer to shore. Unpredictable waves and currents will continue for up to 12 hours and boaties need to take care launching and coming in.
4. Listen to the radio or TV for updates
5. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
6. Follow the instructions of local Civil Defence.
The Waitaki District Civil Defence & Emergency Management Group, with MCDEM and scientific advisors, will continue monitoring the situation and working with local communities for the most appropriate response.
For further information contact:
Emergency Services Office
Waitaki District Council
Phone 03 434-6400