Civil Defence  |  3 Apr 2024

As daylight saving comes to an end, Christchurch’s tsunami sirens will undergo routine testing at 11am on Sunday.

The 45 sirens located between Brooklands and Taylors Mistake will sound for up to three minutes on 7 April.

“If you are near the coast on Sunday morning and hear the sirens going off, you don’t need to evacuate or be alarmed. This is just a test to make sure the system is working,” says Christchurch City Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management Manager Brenden Winder.

Time to test our tsunami sirens

The warning sirens along Christchurch’s coastline are tested each year at the beginning and end of daylight saving. For this test you should hear a tone, followed by ‘This is a test of the tsunami warning sirens. Do not be alarmed. This is only a test.’

The tsunami warning network is designed to trigger an advanced warning of a distance-source tsunami that could take more than three hours to reach our coastline.

“If there were an event of a local or regional source closer to New Zealand, residents may need to evacuate quickly,” says Mr Winder.

“While this weekend’s siren testing is routine, it’s also an ideal time to make sure you and your family have an evacuation plan and have all your essential supplies ready.”

If there were an imminent tsunami, Civil Defence and the New Zealand Police services would alert residents using the sirens, radio, television, social media and local community groups.

People can check Christchurch City Council’s interactive online map to find out if they live or work in a tsunami evacuation zone. Find evacuation tips on the Council’s website here.