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Published: 2015-09-17 00:00:00

Issued at 1630hrs - Coromandel residents are being urged to stay away from the coast overnight given the potential arrival of tsunami effects after the big Chilean earthquake today.

Boaties should also check the moorings of their vessels if it is safe to do so during daylight hours today, says Waikato Regional Council’s hazards team.

The team says tsunami effects could start to come in the Coromandel region on a mid-level to falling tide between roughly midnight tonight and 2am tomorrow.

The team believes the effects will mostly occur at sea and off the coast, with any inundation from waves or surges limited to very low-lying areas. The inundation would likely be similar to a king tide or storm surge at worst.

However, strong inner harbour currents and unusual tide movements could eventuate, hence the warning for boaties to check moorings. Effects may still occur during high tide around 10am Friday. Also, effects could linger over the next few days.

The Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management said today wave heights could be between 20 centimetres and one metre in the Chatham Islands, East Cape, Coromandel and Banks Peninsula.

The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by the ministry.

Waikato Civil Defence says that in the hours leading up to the anticipated arrival time on the Coromandel, people should:
1. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
2. Stay off beaches and shore areas
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 local civil defence authorities 

Civil Defence is monitoring the situation closely and will update its Facebook page with any new developments and issue further information via other media outlets as required.

The Waikato Civil Defence Facebook site is at https://www.facebook.com/WaikatoCivilDefence and the regional council’s page is at https://www.facebook.com/WaikatoRegion

Advice is also available at https://www.facebook.com/ThamesCoromandelDistrictCouncil

and www.tcdc.govt.nz