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National Warning: Tsunami Threat. Immediate evacuation required.

Friday 5 Mar – last updated 9:49 am

A Tsunami Warning has been issued following the M8.1 earthquake north-east of New Zealand near KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION.


Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas) is expected in the following areas:

The West Coast of the North Island from CAPE REINGA to AHIPARA.

The East Coast of the North Island from CAPE REINGA to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY including Whakatane and Opotiki.


The earthquake may not have been felt in some of these areas, but evacuation should be immediate as a damaging tsunami is possible.

People in all other areas who felt a LONG or STRONG earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or lasted longer than a minute, should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.

Evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area. If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so.

Do not return until an official all-clear message is given by Civil Defence.

Walk, run or cycle if at all possible to reduce the chances of getting stuck in traffic congestion.

The first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat is real until this warning is cancelled.

People who are near the coast in the AREAS UNDER THREAT listed above or near the coast and felt the earthquake LONG OR STRONG, should MOVE NOW. DO NOT WAIT for an Emergency Mobile Alert to your mobile phone. Move to the nearest high ground, out of tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.

The National Emergency Management Agency and GNS Science will continue to assess the threat and will provide an update for all areas as soon as possible.

People in all New Zealand coastal areas should:

  1. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, and NZCivilDefence Twitter
  2. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities
  3. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, this includes boats)
  4. Stay off beaches and shore areas
  5. Do not go sightseeing
  6. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

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