Tsunami siren network testing late September
Tsunami sirens from Te Hapua to Mangawhai will be tested later this month.
The 150-plus Northland sirens will sound on the morning of Sunday September 27 as part of regular twice-yearly checks to ensure they work correctly.
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," says Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group spokesperson Victoria Randall.
The siren network – 79 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.
The shoebox-sized units, each with its own siren, flashing light and distinctive blue and yellow Civil Defence logo, are attached to Northpower or Top Energy power poles in communities along the coast.
Ms Randall says in the event of a real tsunami warning, the sirens are an indicator to local communities to seek further information.
"Rather than triggering evacuations, tsunami sirens are 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 Ms Randall says.
Natural warnings Northland coastal communities should always look out for include earthquakes, unusual sea behaviour (sudden fall or rise), or loud and unusual sea noises. n Online nrc.govt.nz/civildefence, facebook.com/civildefencenorthland