Marking the seventh anniversary of the Japan tsunami the week of 11-17 March, schools on the Coromandel Peninsula will join the Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Hawkes Bay and Manawatu-Whanganui in practicing their tsunami evacuation hīkoi.
Pam Balt of the Thames-Coromandel District Council Emergency Management Unit says tsunami can cause more damage on the east coast than earthquakes or volcanoes.
“That’s why it’s so important that we’re prepared. Everyone who lives, works or plays in a tsunami evacuation zone needs to know the right actions to take if they feel a long or strong earthquake,” Balt says. “A tsunami hīkoi is an opportunity to plan and practice your tsunami evacuation routes.”
A tsunami is a series of powerful waves with strong currents. They are mostly caused by underwater or coastal earthquakes, and sometimes by underwater landslides or volcanic eruptions.
The Coromandel Peninsula’s tsunami evacuation zone maps are available here: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/services/regional-services/regional-hazards-and-emergency-management/coastal-hazards/tsunami/tsunami-hazard(external link)