Tsunami siren too quiet, say residents
Sun, 22 Jul 2012 6:16p.m.
By Adrien Taylor
Christchurch's new tsunami warning system had its first test this morning, but many seaside residents say it's not up to scratch.
Twenty-two sirens have been placed along the coastline from Waimairi Beach to Sumner, and residents say they're too quiet.
About 19,000 people died in Japan last year when a tsunami submerged coastal regions with phenomenal force.
That event, and our own seismic events in Canterbury, serve as reminders of the importance of early tsunami warning systems near our own shores.
This morning at 11am, 22 sirens placed around Christchurch were tested for the first time.
“We all have to know what they sound like in the real world, and let's hope we never have to use them,” says Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.
But many residents say they still don't know what the sirens sound like.
“I think it is awesome having the sirens in place, but they're really quiet, and on a busy day at pre-school we wouldn't hear them,” says New Brighton Community Preschool and Nursery manager Paula Robinson.
But Civil Defence says the sirens are designed to only be heard near the shore, and they shouldn't be loud enough to cause hearing damage.
“Once they're activated it means clear out and move out, evacuate the area a safe distance back from the sea,” says Civil Defence manager Murray Sinclair.
If the sirens sound for more than 10 minutes, it means it's not a drill but the real thing.
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24/07/2012 8:14:38 p.m.
I live 900 Meters from Waimari beach surf club did not hear a thing, I was inside becuase like everybody else as it was a cold day. Total waste of time and money. Why did they not install speakers around the surrounding streets for 2km inland? makes sense to me. I hope the unexpected Tsunami acts in a gentleman's way and flow in in the middle of the day letting us all know by osmosis well before hand, just like it did in JAPAN.........
23/07/2012 7:57:33 a.m.
Wellington dosen't need sirens. It has blue lines painted on the road instead. Stay 1 metre behind the lines and you will be safe. But if you stand 1 metre on the otyher side of the line you will get wet.
22/07/2012 8:26:07 p.m.
I live in Woolston, about 5 minutes drive from New Brighton. I didn't hear a thing!! A tsunami hitting the shore here would most likely destroy my area, and I think they should be capable of alerting me should we have a warning!
22/07/2012 7:55:14 p.m.
I couldn't hear them in hamner either, they should be 390 Db and if you don't want to risk hearing damage, you should just keep 1km away from the sea :) ... Chances are if you need to know about a tsunami at short notice you will have just felt a big shake. I would be listening for the siren if i felt a shake and was near the sea!
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