Tsunami sirens from Te Hapua to Mangawhai will be tested when daylight saving ends early next month.
The 150-plus Northland sirens will sound on the morning of Sunday April 3 as part of regular twice-yearly checks to ensure they're all working correctly.
Victoria Randall, spokesperson for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says sirens around the region will sound twice – firstly at 9.20am for 10 minutes and again at 10am for just 30 seconds.
"Civil Defence community groups or local council staff will monitor the sirens at these times, reporting any faults for repair."
The siren network – 84 in the Whangarei district, 58 in the Far North and 14 in the Kaipara district – has been set up to alert coastal communities in the event of a tsunami warning.
Six new tsunami sirens will be part of the early April testing. These are being added to the tsunami siren network as part of ongoing efforts to build the region's coverage; at Tutukaka (Kowharewa Bay), Ngunguru (Kakariki Road), Urquharts Bay Whangarei Heads (Urquharts Bay Road), Parua Bay (Ritchie Road), Waipu river mouth (Cove Road) and Ruakaka village.
You can find out more about the tsunami siren network warning system – including audio – at NRC or local district council websites.
Ms Randall says in the event of a real tsunami warning, the sirens are an indicator to local communities to seek further information – designed to alert people that they need to seek further information about potential tsunami risks from official sources.
Northland’s tsunami siren network provides a valuable warning system for coastal communities where the tsunami is generated by distant seismic events allowing adequate official notification time.
Natural warnings Northland coastal communities should always look out for include:
Ÿ Earthquakes, either strong with shaking ground or weak and rolling lasting a least a minute
Ÿ Unusual sea behaviour including a sudden sea level fall or rise
Ÿ Loud and unusual sea noises, particularly roaring like a jet engine.
Coastal households in areas at risk from tsunami should plan prior so they are prepared, should a tsunami of this type hit – immediately go to higher ground. Everybody in the community should know where they’re going to head beforehand. There won’t be an opportunity to sort things out at the time.
n General info about Civil Defence is available from nrc.govt.nz/civildefence or facebook.com/civildefencenorthland.