Tsunami and the Kapiti Coast
It's really important for everyone in Kāpiti to know if they live, work or play in a tsunami evacuation zone. Our zones in Kapiti were last updated in October 2018. At the same time a new online address finder made it easier to search if you live in a zone. Go to the finder to know your zone.
Tsunami evacuation zone maps have three zones: red, orange and yellow. If there's a long or strong earthquake nearby, your zones should evacuate immediately without waiting for official warnings. Our 'know your zone' page offers great advice about what to do and where to go. If you don't live in the zones, and there's a long or strong earthquake, stay put. This will help others who are in the zones evacuate quickly.
Knowing your zone is important for tsunami where there is time for official warnings - it's possible that for regional and distant source tsunami some zones won't be evacuated.
Tsunami are long, deep, fast travelling ocean waves caused by earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions beneath or near the ocean. They can be spread over a 12 hour period arriving up to an hour apart.
The Kāpiti Coast is a seismically active area and with the coastline running the length of our district, we live with the risk that a large earthquake or a tsunami could affect us at any time.
The risk is slightly greater since the 14 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and while we can’t predict when earthquakes and tsunami will happen, we can help protect ourselves and our families by being prepared.
If you live, work or regularly spend time in one of the Kāpiti Coast’s tsunami evacuation zones it’s important that you know the warning signs of a tsunami and have a plan to get to safety.
Tsunami Evacuation Zone Maps have been developed by Greater Wellington Regional Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council and Civil Defence, which identify the areas residents need to evacuate from in the event of a tsunami. View tsunami evacuation maps here.
Before a tsunami
If you live or intend to live in a tsunami evacuation zone you should:
- Develop a Household Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Survival Kit that will help you cope with being isolated for up to seven days (including companion animals).
- Have an evacuation route and test it. Know how far you need to go to get out of the tsunami evacuation zone. Test a mock evacuation, walking inland to the edge of the evacuation zone (keeping an eye out for any useful areas of higher ground as you go). Now you know what it'll take if you need to evacuate.
- Familiarise yourself with evacuation maps in areas you travel to often (eg work and/or school) as well as home.
- If you are buying land or a building in a coastal area, talk to the Council on the risks of a tsunami, coastal storm surge and erosion.
Evacuating from a tsunami zone:
As a rule of thumb, if an earthquake is long or strong, get gone!
- If you feel a long or strong earthquake that lasts longer than a minute or is strong enough to knock you off your feet, and you're in a tsunami evacuation zone, do not wait to be told - evacuate immediately. Stay out of the evacuation zone until you get the all clear.
- If you can, evacuate on foot or by bicycle.
- If you evacuate, it's best to make your way to friends or family outside of the evacuation zone or take direction from your council on the day.
- If you're outside of the tsunami zone, stay put. This will reduce congestion and help those who are at most risk evacuate in time.
After a tsunami:
- Listen to the radio for civil defence advice.
- Don’t go sightseeing.
- Don’t go down to the sea or return to your property until you have been told it is safe to do so.
- Wellington Region Emergency Management Officelaunch
- Wellington Rural Fire Authoritylaunch
- NZ Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (CDEM)launch
- Neighbourhood Supportlaunch
- Earthquake Commission (EQC)launch
- Institure of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS)launch
- National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA)launch
- The Meteorological Service of NZlaunch
In an emergency dial 111 for:
- fire - including Rural Fire
Ring this number if lives or property are at risk
Council emergency contact details:
04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486
Other emergency contact details:
- Electra 0800 567 876
- Gas 0800 802 332