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Thursday, 9 August 2012

What about a tsunami?

I appreciate there is already enough to be worried about, however we did get where we are now by not knowing enough.

Environment Canterbury have released a media statement on the effects on Christchurch and Kaiapoi in a worst case scenario tsunami. The statement is based upon a NIWA report (see below).

Environment Canterbury today released a report indicating a possible “worst case” scenario for Christchurch and Kaiapoi in the unlikely event that a tsunami arrives on our shores following a large earthquake in a distant location.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has modelled the possible effects of “distant-source tsunami inundation” (flooding) in the areas most affected by the February 2011 earthquake.

“The likelihood of all these factors occurring together in the same way is very low, so the level of tsunami inundation represented by the modelling only happens every few thousand years. In the vast majority of tsunamis that may affect us, the inundation will not reach the levels shown on the maps in the report.”

Mr Couch pointed out that the report does not cover possible inundation from a local source tsunami from Pegasus Bay. “Potential flooding from a tsunami just off the Christchurch or Waimakariri coast is likely to be much less than a worst case distant source tsunami from across the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

The media release is here.

The NIWA report, which is comprehensive, illustrated and  very well written, covers Northern Banks Peninsula, Christchurch and the rest of Pegasus Bay. It contains practical information about what constitutes a threat and what to do (here).

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