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Published: 2010-02-28 00:00:00

The Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has received reports of strong tidal currents at Whitianga and Tairua, but this could be more widespread, especially at harbour entrances. No reports of any problems due to this effect have been received for the east coast of the Waikato region.

The Group is advising people to take care in rivers, beaches and harbours in this area.

Group controller Scott Fowlds said that on the east coast tsunami activity is expected to primarily present a threat to craft at sea or people in the water as it is anticipated it will be under one metre high at this stage.

Mr Fowlds urged boaties and swimmers to stay out of the sea and for people to stay away from the coast and refrain from sightseeing. “People should listen carefully to radio and TV for updates on the situation and follow the instructions of Civil Defence authorities.”

The Group continues to monitor the threat posed by the tsunami, provide necessary advice to the public and respond as required.

Mr Fowlds stressed that tsunami activity could continue for some time after any initial wave and this meant it was particularly important to stay tuned for advice on whether a threat still remained. People in coastal areas should:

  • Be observant of any unexpected currents
  • 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.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for updates
  • Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
  • Follow the instructions of local Civil Defence.