Updated Tsunami Modelling for Whitianga
I have attended a number of meetings recently on the updated modelling work around “worst case” Tsunami situations for Mercury Bay – Whitianga in particular. Two images have been shared along with some information which I have replicated below. The major “take home point” for me is that we will need to review our response to a tsunami alert. I will commence this review early in the new year and will hold some parental forums to gather parent voice for our revised protocol, which we will develop during term 1.
The following information has been shared with me – and now hence with you. I have not edited it at all. It is important to note that there are two significant scenarios – a “near” source event (we would have 1 hours’ notice as a community) – the Tonga-Kermadec Trench earthquake at a magnitude 9 scale; and a “distant” source event – 12 hours’ notice or so – from South America/Japan etc.
“New modelling of tsunami hazards has been completed for Mercury Bay as a part of the Eastern Coromandel Tsunami Strategy, a joint project between Thames Coromandel District Council and Waikato Regional Council
The modelling shows that:
· For the Tonga-Kermadec Trench (just above East Cape): there is significant inundation of Whitianga from a tsunami generated by a large (magnitude 9) earthquake. Despite this, there is limited threat of inundation to the school, due mainly to its distance from the foreshore. An event of this size from the Tonga-Kermadec Trench would be accompanied by significant shaking, and tsunami waves will take around one hour to arrive in Whitianga
· For distant tsunami events (particularly from South America): there is limited inundation around the Whitianga foreshore (Albert Street/Monk Street, Taputapuatea Stream and Brophy's Beach Stream areas). The modelling shows that there is no threat of inundation to the school from distant tsunami events
· A tsunami open day will be held on Saturday 28 January 2017 from 9.30am - 3.30pm at the Whitianga Town Hall. The tsunami project team will be on hand to discuss all aspects of the tsunami hazards and risks to Whitianga, including to the school.
Clearly we will need to consider what our plans will be for an alert. I intend being at the public forum on Saturday 28th and would be happy to meet any parents/caregivers/grandparents at that time too.