Tsunami inundation and evacuation maps

Show Sidebar

Tsunami inundation and evacuation maps

The Gisborne / Tairawhiti region is vulnerable to tsunami of any size at any time, it’s crucial families have a plan and know what to do.

If an earthquake is Long or Strong, Get Gone. Head to higher ground or as far inland as possible.

On this page

Online Tsunami Map  |  Evacuation Routes - City  |  Tsunami Videos  |  Area Inundation Maps  |  Tsunami Inundation Report and FAQs  |  Tsunami Advice 

Online tsunami maps

Tsunami Inundation and Evacuation Maps(external link) for our Gisborne / Tairawhiti region. 

For PDFs of each community, refer to the maps below. 

Gisborne city evacuation routes

Gisborne city and surrounds Evacuation Route Map [PDF, 5.1 MB] 

See the maps below for more details of the routes. 

City Routes


Detailed evacuation routes by area

A1 [PDF, 400 KB]   |   B1 [PDF, 419 KB]   |    B2 [PDF, 402 KB]    |    B3 [PDF, 501 KB]    |    B4 [PDF, 847 KB]    |    C1 [PDF, 410 KB]    |    C2 [PDF, 359 KB]    |    C3 [PDF, 419 KB]    |    C4 [PDF, 610 KB]    |    C5 [PDF, 785 KB]    |    C6 [PDF, 475 KB]    |    D1 [PDF, 474 KB]    |    D2 [PDF, 369 KB]    |    D3 [PDF, 456 KB]    |    E1 [PDF, 525 KB]    |    E2 [PDF, 329 KB]    |    F1 [PDF, 530 KB]    |    F2  [PDF, 430 KB]


What the red, orange and yellow zones mean

Red zone = distant threat, you won't feel it.
This zone is likely to be inundated by a tsunami generated by a distant earthquake as far off as Chile. There may be many hours before the inundation hits and no natural warning.

Orange zone = regional threat, you may feel it.
This zone is likely to be inundated by a tsunami generated by an earthquake as close as the Kermadec Islands. It could take more than one hour for the inundation to hit and there may be no natural warning.

Yellow zone = local threat, you will feel it and have minutes to evacuate.
A big earthquake such as an 8.9 magnitude centred in the Hikurangi subduction zone (off East Cape) will be long, strong and means get gone.
All zones must evacuate immediately.

Video of tsunami inundation based on 8.9 earthquake

These video show tsunami inundation based on an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in the Hikurangi subduction zone, off the East Coast.

Gisborne city



Tolaga Bay - Uawa

Tokomaru Bay

Hicks Bay - Wharekahika


Area inundation maps for:

For information read the Q&As   

Anaura Bay [PDF, 6.3 MB]
East Cape [PDF, 4.5 MB]
Gisborne city [PDF, 6.8 MB]  see evacuation maps
Hicks Bay [PDF, 4.3 MB]
Makorori [PDF, 4.8 MB]
Muriwai [PDF, 5.3 MB]
Okitu [PDF, 5.6 MB]
Pouawa [PDF, 4.9 MB]
Poverty Bay Flats [PDF, 6.4 MB]
Te Araroa [PDF, 4 MB]
Tokomaru Bay [PDF, 7.2 MB]
Tolaga Bay [PDF, 6.8 MB]
Tuparoa [PDF, 6.8 MB]
Waiapu [PDF, 3.7 MB]
Waihau Beach [PDF, 5.4 MB]
Wainui [PDF, 6.8 MB]  see evacuation maps
Waipiro Bay [PDF, 6.3 MB]
Whangara [PDF, 4.2 MB]  

Tsunami Inundation Report

Tsunami Inundation Assessment Report - December 2019

For questions and answers about the maps and zones 

If you have any questions for staff

Please fill in our eRequest online form

Locally generated tsunami

A locally generated tsunami will follow a very strong felt earthquake or a long slow earthquake.

Use the natural signs as our warning, self-evacuation is the only option. 
If an earthquake is long or strong, get gone – long (One minute or longer) – strong (hard to stand up) – move quickly to higher ground or go inland.

All of the maps have both local and distant evacuation zones on them.  You only need to get clear of the evacuation areas not miles inland or on top of the highest peak.  If you're on a part of the coast that isn't covered by one of the maps and you're evacuating you should get as far inland or as high as you can within a 20 -30 minute time frame (that's walking quickly not driving). 

If you can take a transistor radio you can listen for the all clear or otherwise you should wait 2 hours before returning home - if no tsunami has been generated. 

Distant tsunami - coastal communities evacuation maps

The maps define areas in coastal communities that are part of the planned evacuation areas for a distant and local tsunami.  
The only real credible threat from a distant tsunami to Gisborne communities is from Chile/Peru with around 11 - 15 hours warning.

The primary means of warning people to evacuate will be by door knocking in the areas identified in the maps.  Authorities will have between 10 - 12 hours to do this. Those at risk will be advised by Civil Defence volunteers, Police and Fire & Emergency NZ.  There will also be information on our local radio stations and on the Civil Defence web page.

It's possible that evacuations for a distant event could last for 10 -12 hours, as there are many surges in a distant tsunami event.  If inundation does occur then some areas may be closed for sometime.