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Tsunami wave comes ashore in NZ

Published: 10:34AM Wednesday September 30, 2009 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

A 40-centimetre tsunami wave has come ashore in New Zealand at East Cape but there are no reports of damage.

The Civil Defence authority told ONE News waves have hit in East Cape and they are now monitoring the rest of the country particularly Northland, the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast north of Gisborne.

John Hamilton from the Civil Defence Emergency Management Centre says a 40 centimetre wave was detected in the East Cape area.

He says it is the wave they expected and believes an all clear may be able to be announced shortly.

TV ONE is following developments and broadcasting as tsunami information becomes available.

However, warnings are still in place throughout the rest of the country and people should stay off all beaches.

Tararua District Council has made a decision as a precaution to evacuate residents from the east coast residential settlements of Herbertville and Akitio wtih the aid of police.

Residents in low-lying areas of the Coromandel coast were moved to higher ground with the assistance of fire service staff.

Tsunami warning sirens around Waitakere City have been activated as a precaution.

Sirens on both the West Coast around Piha, Karekare and Huia, and the East Coast around Herald Island and Te Atatu are sounding an alert signal.

Waikato Civil Defence and Emergency Management has revised the times it expects a tsunami to affect the region.

It now expects a wave of around a metre high to possibly hit the east coast of the region about 11am, and to possibly affect the west coast of the region around 11.40am.

Auckland authorities now expect a 40-centimetre wave to hit at 12.03pm.

Harbourmasters are being told by Environment Waikato not to move on the water.

Waikato Civil Defence says people living or working on the coasts should be on high alert especially residents in Raglan, Kawhia and Mokau and all coastal settlements near these areas.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence is telling residents to keep away from beaches and residents of Te Kaha, East Cape have been instructed to go to high ground.

Napier, Northland and Southland have also issued alerts.

Auckland regional authorities are advising people on Great Barrier Island, Waiheke Island and on regional coastlines to seek higher ground.

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri has taken the decision to evacuate its office in Mount Maunganui in response to the warning.

The Civil Defence website is here

Main advice:

Turn on radios and listen to advice from civil defence emergency management

Stay off beaches until cancellation of the warning

Do not go out on the water until cancellation of the warning

The first wave may not be the largest wave so people are advised not to go to the beach until it is cleared by the local council.

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