New Zealand tsunami warning: How to stay safe if you are in the warning zone

A tsunami warning is in place for parts of the east coast of the North Island after three strong earthquakes struck off the coast of New Zealand in the early hours of Friday.

Anyone on the coast between Bay of Islands to Whangarei, between Matata and Tolaga Bay, and on Great Barrier Island must immediately evacuate and move inland.

The first waves could reach the top of the North Island by 10.20am, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

Anyone evacuating should follow the  National Emergency Management Agency advice below.

  • If you see any of the natural warning signs ( a long, strong earthquake, change in sea level, or a strange noise from the ocean), move inland or to higher ground immediately.
  • If you receive an official warning, follow the instructions. 
  • If evacuating, grab your getaway kit, family and pets (if they're with you) and follow instructions. 
  • If evacuating, try to walk or cycle, not drive. 
  • Do not go sightseeing. Never go to look for a tsunami. 
  • Listen to the radio, watch TV or check social media for instructions.
  • Do not return to the evacuation zones until given the all-clear.
  • Be aware that there may be more than one wave and that later waves may be bigger than the first. It may not be safe for up to 24 hours, or longer. 
  • Be careful re-entering homes or buildings as they may be damaged.
  • Look for, and report, broken utility lines to appropriate authorities


Once the danger has passed, and it's safe to return NEMA recommends being prepared in case there is another threat. To ensure you're prepared, people should make sure they know the risks and signs.

  •  Know the tsunami risk for where you are. Contact your local council or Civil Defence Emergency Management group to find out. 
  • Know the natural warning signs 
  •  Know, and subscribe to, the warning systems for where you are (could be things like text alerts, apps, social media, website updates).
  •  Make a plan with those you care about. 
  •  Plan and practice your evacuation route.
  •  Have a getaway kit.