A tsunami marine and minor land threat warning – issued by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) in response to an earthquake (magnitude 8.9) off the coast of Japan just before 7pm yesterday – remain in place for Northland.
Coastal communities around Northland have been notified of the tsunami marine warning and today’s fishing in the Captain Morgan Snapper Bonanza – held at 90 Mile Beach – has been cancelled.
The Police, Fire Service and Department of Conservation (DOC) have evacuated everyone camping on 90 Mile Beach for the competition and a cordon is being placed at the entrances to the beach.
Graeme MacDonald, Group Controller Northland CDEM Group, says the estimated wave arrival time has now been shifted to 0800 (subs: Saturday 12 March 2011).
“The largest wave arrivals are anticipated from about 0800 and expected to last for several hours with peaks three to five hours later, from approximately 1100 to 1300 hours (11am – 1pm),” says Mr MacDonald.
MCDEM has indicated approximate base wave heights between 20-50cm and up to 1metre with a minor land threat between Ahipara and the Karikari Peninsula as well as in the Bay of Islands and the Chatham Islands.
“A minor land threat means there is a small potential for impacts on beaches in these areas,” says Mr MacDonald.
“Tsunami activity such as unusual currents and changes in sea-level will continue and we are advising everyone to stay off beaches and out of the water, throughout Northland.”
Northlanders are being asked to share this information with family, neighbours and friends and to listen to the radio and/or TV for updates.
The first waves are estimated to coincide with low tide on the east coast (0709 at Marsden Point). Low tide on the west coast - at Pouto Point – is at 0951.