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Tsunami inundation maps

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Tsunami inundation 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.

The message is – if there’s an earthquake that’s Long or Strong, get gone. Head to higher ground or as far inland as possible.

Online tsunami map

This tool shows the new tsunami inundation and evacuation areas for our Gisborne / Tairawhiti region. 

Click on our online Tsunami Evacuation Maps(external link) 

What do the red, orange and yellow zones mean?

Red zone is the highest risk zone, it's the first place people should evacuate from in all types of tsunami warnings (natural or official) generated near and far.

Orange zone indicates the area that should be evacuated in most, if not all distant and regional tsunami threats.

Yellow zone indicates inundation generated from an 8.9 earthquake in the local Hikurangi subduction zone off the East Coast.

Area evacuation 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]
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]
Waipiro Bay [PDF, 6.3 MB]
Whangara [PDF, 4.2 MB]

Tsunami Inundation Assessment Report

This report was peer reviewed by GNS Science in December 2019. 
Tsunami Inundation Assessment for Gisborne District Council [PDF, 30 MB]

For questions and answers about the maps and zones

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 being more than one minute – strong being you can hardly stand – move quickly to higher ground or go inland.

The earthquake will be your only warning and you need to make the decision, if you're in the danger area, whether to go or stay. 

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 are 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.

Note: The community of Makorori will be totally evacuated so does not need a map.

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 NZ Fire Service.  There will also be information on all of our radio stations and on the civil defence website.

It is 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.

Link to Tsunami plan