22 Sep 2022

The tsunami sirens along Christchurch’s coastline will undergo routine testing at 11am this Sunday.

The 45 sirens, which are located at strategic points between Brooklands and Taylors Mistake, will sound for up to three minutes.

“If you are near the coast on Sunday morning and you hear the tsunami sirens going off, you don’t need to evacuate or be alarmed. It is just routine testing to ensure the sirens are working correctly,’’ says Christchurch City Council Civil Defence and Emergency Manager Brenden Winder.

The tsunami sirens in Christchurch are tested each year at the beginning and end of daylight saving time. Our tsunami sirens will sound pre-recorded voice messages.  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.’

Find more information about the messages that will sound during a tsunami warning.

While this weekend’s siren testing is routine, it is important that people know 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,'' says Mr Winder.

"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’.

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