Tsunami Evacuation Zones

Waimakariri now has three tsunami evacuation zones: red, orange and yellow. There is no one tsunami that would flood the entire orange or yellow zones – rather it is an envelope around many possible 'worst case' tsunami scenarios.


Red evacuation zone

This is an area that is most likely to be affected by a tsunami. It includes estuaries, rivers, beaches and harbours. A tsunami of any size could cause strong currents and surges in the water. You can expect to evacuate the red zone several times in your lifetime.

You should leave this zone immediately, if:

  • You experience a long or strong earthquake
  • You see sudden sea level changes or hear unusual noises coming from the sea
  • You receive an official warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management

Orange evacuation zone

This area is less likely to be affected by a tsunami than the red zone. It includes areas on land that could be flooded in a large tsunami. You can expect to evacuate the orange zone a few times in your lifetime.

You should leave this zone immediately, if:

  • You experience a long or strong earthquake
  • You see sudden sea level changes or hear unusual noises coming from the sea
  • You receive an official warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management

Yellow evacuation zone

This is an area that is much less likely to be affected than the red or orange zones, but could be flooded or isolated in a very large tsunami. It is possible this zone will be evacuated sometime in your lifetime, however it is unlikely.

You do not need to leave this zone if you feel a long or strong earthquake.

You should leave this zone immediately, if:

  • You receive an official warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Note: In most other parts of New Zealand, yellow zones need to be evacuated in a long or strong earthquake. You should check local tsunami evacuation zones when spending time on the coast.

No zone

This area is outside the tsunami evacuation zones. We do not expect to ever evacuate this area due to the risk of a tsunami.

If you’re in this area:

  • You don’t need to evacuate in a long or strong earthquake
  • You don’t need to evacuate if you hear the warning siren system
  • You don’t need to evacuate during an official tsunami warning from Civil Defence Emergency Management
  • You may wish to open your home to family or friends who need to evacuate from a tsunami evacuation zone

View a map of Waimakariri’s Tsunami Evacuation Zones