Tsunami Warning for Wellington

28 February 2010

Issued at 1:30am on Sunday 28 February 2010.
Issued by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) and the Wellington Emergency Management Office

A tsunami warning is in effect for New Zealand. The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by MCDEM.

A very large (magnitude 8.8) earthquake occurred on the Pacific coast of Chile at about 7.30pm (New Zealand time) yesterday.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has issued a Tsunami Information Bulletin for New Zealand in response to the quake.

A tsunami wave has been generated. The first wave may arrive in New Zealand in the areas around Chatham Island at about 7.00am today. The first wave may not be the largest. Waves may continue for several hours.

The first wave is expected to arrive in the Wellington area at about 8.25am today.

People in coastal areas should:
1. Stay off beaches
2. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
3. Do not go sightseeing
4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
6. Follow instructions of your local civil defence authorities.

Current assessment is for a non destructive tsunami for New Zealand with wave heights at the shore of between 0.2 and 1 metre. However scientific advisors confirm a possible marine threat along the east coast of the North Island, South Island and Chatham Islands, possibly over 1 metre.

The National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) is being activated.