Civil Defence  |  23 Sep 2021

The change to daylight saving time this weekend signals the routine testing of the tsunami sirens along the Christchurch coastline.

The sirens, which are located at strategic points between Brooklands and Taylors Mistake, are tested each year at the beginning and end of daylight saving.

“Sunday, 26 September, marks the beginning of daylight saving so people who are near the coast can expect to hear the sirens sounds for up to two minutes at 11am Sunday,’’ says Christchurch City Council Acting Head of Civil Defence and Emergency Management Rebecca Newton.

“People shouldn’t be alarmed to hear the sirens going off and don’t need to evacuate. The testing of the sirens though is a good reminder to people in coastal and riverside areas that they should have an evacuation plan  in place so that everyone in the family knows what to do and where to go if there is a tsunami evacuation.

“While we are likely to get advanced warning of a distance-source tsunami triggered by a large earthquake overseas, if a tsunami is triggered by a very large earthquake closer to New Zealand people may need to evacuate quickly so they should have an emergency bag at the ready.

“In the event of a local or regional source tsunami, there may not be enough time to activate the warning sirens. In those circumstances, the most important warning is the earthquake itself, which is why we encourage people to adhere to the national tsunami message – ‘Long or strong, get gone’,’’ Dr Newton says.

People can check Christchurch City Council's interactive online map to find out if by they live or work in a tsunami evacuation zone. There are also evacuation tips on the Council website.