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Source: Auckland Council

From the early hours of the morning on Friday 5 March, New Zealand has experienced earthquakes (near the East Cape area of the North Island) and tsunami warnings as a result of quakes in the Kermedec Islands, which are around 1000km north east of New Zealand.

Advice for the Auckland region

EVACUATION | Aotea / Great Barrier Island

Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas) is expected on Great Barrier Island. Local response plans have been activated and residents have been evacuated to higher ground.


Strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges near the shore are expected in the following areas. This means a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities.

  • West Coast of Auckland
  • Manukau Harbour
  • East Coast of Auckland
  • Waiheke Island
  • Waitemata Harbour.

People in all New Zealand coastal areas should:

  • Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, or check
  • Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area
  • Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, this includes boats)
  • Stay off beaches and shore areas
  • Do not go sightseeing
  • Share this information with family, neighbours and friends.

What you need to know

Follow official social accounts:

Listen to the radio

  • Radio stations will carry news and official broadcasts from civil defence agencies.
  • Remember, if you don’t have a radio in the house you can stream radio stations, like RNZ, online, listen via Sky TV or listen to the radio in your car.

Emergency Mobile Alerts (EMA)

  • EMAs are sent by authorised emergency agencies, like civil defence groups or emergency services (police and fire) or government response agencies like the Ministry of Health.
  • An EMA is not a text message, depending on your phone, it will appear on your screen and be lodged in either the notifications or messages sections of your phone.
  • Depending on your phone, it will be accompanied by a loud noise.
  • These alerts use cell phone towers to broadcast messages to all capable phones in defined areas. This means that if you are in an area that needs to evacuate to higher ground because of the threat of a tsunami, you are likely to get an alert to your mobile phone.
  • If you do not need to evacuate, you will not get an alert.
  • Read more on the National Emergency Management Agency website.
  • Check if your phone is capable of receiving an EMA here.

General tsunami and earthquake advice

Remember, if you’re on the coast and you…

  • Feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more,
  • See a sudden rise or fall in sea level,
  • Hear loud and unusual noises from the sea…

Don’t wait for an official warning…

  • Go immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can, take the route that is quickest for you. Do not stay at home. If possible, run, walk or cycle when evacuating from a tsunami – you don’t want to get stuck in traffic in a tsunami zone.
  • Don’t go to the shore and watch.
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of emergency services.
  • Stay away from exposed areas until the official all-clear is given by authorities and emergency services.
  • Take your emergency getaway bag and pets with you if you can.

Evacuation advice and COVID-19

Evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area. If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so.