Civil Defence, Natural hazards  |  24 Nov 2020

Tsunami evacuation zones in Banks Peninsula have been updated based on new scientific research.

“Computer modelling has provided us with updated information about which areas on Banks Peninsula could flood if a tsunami hits the Canterbury coastline,’’ says Christchurch City Council Head of Civil Defence Emergency Management Rob Orchard.

“The latest modelling shows us that in most areas, flooding from a tsunami may extend further inland than allowed for under the previous tsunami evacuation zones. If you live or own property on Banks Peninsula, I would encourage you to go onto our website and check whether your property has been affected by the tsunami evacuation zone changes,’’ Mr Orchard says.

The website has a search function that allows you to enter a property’s address to see which tsunami evacuation zone it is in.

“If you are in a tsunami evacuation zone, it is important that you have an evacuation plan for your household.  You need to think about the route you would take to evacuate and where you would go,’’ Mr Orchard says.

In most areas of Banks Peninsula there are two tsunami evacuation zones – a red zone and an orange zone. In Birdlings Flat there are three – red, orange and yellow.

The red tsunami evacuation zone is an area that is most likely to be affected by a tsunami. It includes estuaries, rivers, beaches and harbours, where a tsunami of any size could cause strong currents and surges in the water. The orange tsunami evacuation zone covers areas on land that could be flooded in the event of a large tsunami.

“If you’re in the red or orange zones and feel a rolling-motion earthquake for longer than a minute or a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, you need to leave the area. When the shaking stops, head immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can, out of the red and orange zones,’’ Mr Orchard says.

The yellow tsunami evacuation zone is an area that is least likely to be affected by tsunami, but could be flooded or isolated in a very large tsunami.

“If you are in the yellow zone, you only need to leave the area if you receive an official warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management. These warnings will be given through an emergency mobile alert to your phone, on radio, television and social media,’’ Mr Orchard says.

Drop-in sessions where people can talk to Council staff about the new evacuation zones are being held on:

  • Sunday 29 November:  9.00am - 12.00pm, at the Little River Community Breakfast, Banks Peninsula Rugby Club Rooms, Awa-iti Domain, Little River
  • Tuesday 1 December: 3.30pm – 7.30pm, at Allendale Hall, Allandale Reserve, 122/154 Governors Bay Teddington Rd, Allandale
  • Thursday 3 December: 2.30pm – 6.00pm, at The Gaiety Akaroa, Rue Jolie, Akaroa

Find out more about the evacuation zones.