Tsunami Warning: Nude Photoshoot Cancelled

28 February 2010

A mass nude photoshoot planned for Wellington's Breaker Bay beach has been cancelled as a result of the tsunami warning in effect.

Wellington City Council emergency management staff have contacted the organiser of the event, scheduled for 8.00am today, and it has been agreed the event be postponed.

A tsunami warning is in effect for New Zealand following the very large (magnitude 8.8) earthquake that occurred on the Pacific coast of Chile at about 7.30pm (New Zealand time) yesterday.

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

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 7am today. The first wave may not be the largest. Waves may continue for several hours.

City Council Emergency Preparedness Manager Fred Mecoy says the photoshoot has been cancelled due to the "obvious concerns we have about safety".

More than 100 people were expected to take part in the photoshoot. Mr Mecoy asks participants to stay clear of Breaker Bay. He reinforced the following messages:

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. The tsunami warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM).