Blue lines - tsunami safe zones

Information about tsunami safe zones, what to do during a tsunami and areas you should evacuate in the event of a long or strong earthquake.

Blue lines on Island Bay streets show tsunami-safe zones


We have been working with Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) to paint blue lines across streets around the south coast and harbour where the largest tsunami might reach.

If you feel a long or strong earthquake(one that's so strong you can't stand up, or continues for a minute or longer), the blue lines show how far inland you need to go to stay clear of and safe from a tsunami wave.

If you live, work or visit the coast, know where the blue lines are and how fast you can get there by foot.

History of the blue line project

In 2010, Wellington City Council's Emergency Management team (a predecessor to WREMO) worked with the residents of Island Bay to develop an effective public education campaign to show where the largest tsunami might reach.

After seven months of planning, a community-driven tsunami awareness plan was developed which included the innovative ‘blue line’ concept.



Map of Island Bay Blue Lines (360KB PDF)

Wellington City Council painted blue lines across the streets in Island Bay at the maximum possible run-up heights. These lines are based on modelling by GNS Science and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The initial blue line project won the Global and Oceania awards for Public Awareness by the International Association for Emergency Managers in 2012.

Blue lines have also been painted in Owhiro Bay and Houghton Bay.

WREMO is working with other coastal communities to raise tsunami awareness and, if the community is supportive, draw blue lines.  If you are interested in participating, contact WREMO.

Tsunami warnings

Warnings for long-distance tsunamis come from WREMO. For information about what to do in the event of a tsunami, visit: WREMO

Tsunami evacuation zones

The tsunami evacuation zones show the areas most likely to be hit by a tsunami - and therefore the areas you want to get out of quickly. Check them out: WREMOnz - Tsunami Evacuation Zone Maps - Facebook