East Coast vulnerable to tsunami

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A team of leading scientists from around the country are assessing earthquake and tsunami risks along the East Coast of New Zealand, all the way from the East Cape to Dunedin.

Professor of Disaster Management at Massey University, David Johnston says, "Coastal New Zealand is susceptible to tsunami risk from a number of sources and the east coast is vulnerable to the faults off the east coast but also from distant faults."

The scientists from GNS Science, Massey University, The University of Otago, NIWA and The University of Canterbury will be conducting surveys and will talk to locals to understand how communities respond to earthquake and tsunami warnings.

The research comes in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake that saw a 4-meter tsunami hit its shores. "Tsunami are very destructive when they make contact with objects and the landscape," says Johnston.

The research will be used by New Zealand agencies to help enhance the effectiveness of education programmes, enhance household and community preparedness for earthquakes and tsunami, and help ensure that future tsunami warnings are effective.