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Published: 2016-09-02 00:00:00

This morning’s real tsunami alert, coming hard on the heels of a national tsunami exercise this week, reinforces the need for Waikato communities to be prepared for a real disaster, says Waikato Civil Defence group.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has now cancelled the tsunami marine and beach threat warning in place for the north coast regions of the North Island, including Coromandel and the Firth of Thames.

Waikato civil defence’s centre in Hamilton, which was monitoring the situation closely after the quake, has now deactivated.

However, coasts may still experience unusual, strong currents and sea level fluctuations lasting for several more hours. So people are still being urged to take care.

Waikato civil defence group controller Lee Hazlewood says this morning’s event highlights the ever present potential for disaster.

“Indviduals and communities need to remain alert for tsunami threats, and other potential disasters, as these could happen at any time.

“I urge people to make sure they are prepared for various scenarios.”