Tsunami texts being reviewed

BOP MP Todd Muller is joining the call for Tsunami sirens. Photo: Supplied.

The tsunami text warning system in the Bay of Plenty is being urgently reviewed by the government following an “unacceptable level of confusion” that occurred with the inconsistent way the messages were applied following Kaikoura 7.8 quake.

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says the government has signaled the text messaging system has to be urgently reviewed and a more robust process of chain of command established.

“This review of the text alert system is critical, but we must not rely on texts alone to alert our seaside communities.

“From Mount Beach to Papamoa East, we need to have a siren based alert system to wake our communities to the threat as determined by Civil Defence.

“This is the accountability of local government, in this case Tauranga City Council, but the Government can assist with advice on siren specification as required.”

Todd is going to continue pushing the Government for a better text alert system, and Tauranga City Council for a quick resolution to the siren issue.

“I also intend to discuss with Tauranga City Council the options to improve ease of access for walkers to get out of the tsunami risk.

“The earthquake mounds are a great new addition, but too many families tried to walk the streets to get out, and found their walkway impeded by new developments or temporary barriers.”

Todd's thanking the significant number of people who have emailed and Facebooked him with their concerns ranging from Civil Defence text alert failure to the lack of alternative notification systems like sirens and the challenge of easy walking egress to higher ground.

The changing nature of the warnings and messages is being attributed to the first detection of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake inland, which generally doesn't trigger a tsunami.

What was unknown at the time was that the earthquake was so severe it ran along various faults and into the sea, says Todd.

“Once this was discovered Civil Defence immediately triggered various tsunami warnings, which then are actioned (or not) by the local regional civil defence agencies.

“I will keep on these issues and report back as progress occurs."


@bay citizen

Posted on 25-11-2016 09:10 | By Papamoaner

I think it would be more prudent to educate people to sleep with cellphones left turned on. The inconvenience is small. My main point is that sirens and texting could sit well together providing the right kind of sirens are used so that they are heard indoors as well as outdoors. The Chinese imports currently installed up north and in Christchurch are not heard indoors according to the locals, so are near useless

Get sirens!

Posted on 25-11-2016 08:09 | By Bay Citizen

I agree with Papamoaner, although he misses out the most important time when one's mobile is switched off or not able to be heard: when you're asleep, as was the case for most people with the Kaikoura earthquake occurring just after midnight.

Texting is not sensible without sirens. Irresponsible even!

Posted on 24-11-2016 21:21 | By Papamoaner

What about people at the cinema, or other forms of theatre, meetings, speeches, conferences, public swimming pools, weddings, funerals, the beach, the gymnasium, restaurants etc etc? Not much use if the cellphone is tucked away in a dressing room. Why not really loud sirens and texting together, so that all intellectual levels are covered? Who wants to be charged with manslaughter for failing to warn a cinema or church full of people with cellphones all turned off? It's not just Papamoa to consider, it's all the low lying areas both inside and outside the harbour.


Posted on 24-11-2016 18:03 | By waiknot

How much has been spent so far to achieve nothing

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

What facilities do you think Tauranga needs?

A large performing arts centre/conference hub
A 50m swimming pool
An outdoor sports and events stadium
A museum
None of the above
All of the above

Bay Today

Jack-o-lantern in the sunrise. Halloween’s come early this year! Photo: Nicholle Roberson.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz