Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tsunami warning

For about an hour this morning there was an active Tsunami warning for New Zealand - as reported on NewsTalk ZB at 5 o'clock this morning (when we happen to be getting up for work).  For us this really was no undue concern - evaluating our risks:
Tsunami from the north - would have to cross Auckland city and about 10km of ground to reach us
Tsunami from the west - would be really impressive having crossed 40km of ground and bypassed a couple of small volcanoes.
Tsunami from the east - more impressive, with the entire Coromandel peninsula having acted as a buffer...

However I am pretty sure some people wouldn't be able to think quite that rationally through their own risks and I wonder what undue panic was caused out there by this being broadcast repeatedly on a nationwide radio station.
Later on after the alert was cancelled Paul Holmes was patting themselves on the back and asking "where Civil Defence was after NewsTalk ZB had to wake everyone up to the news." I would suggest possibly only in the towns actually at risk (Gisbourne etc); and probably assessing the fact that the warning was still that there was a possibility of a Tsunami heading somewhere from off our East Coast - rather than alarming the whole nation about a vague and (for most people) non-existent threat.

I would have less derision if they had actually specified the direction / place of the Tsunami with each broadcast of the warning - but there was only one that specified that it "would hit Gisbourne first", the others were for a Tsunami warning for "New Zealand"
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prying1 said...

This sort of reminds me of the news teasers every time it rains in So. California. Flashy banners proclaiming "Storm Watch 2006" "We'll tell you where it will hit!"
Then they announce scattered showers (which pass my lawn by) in the actual newscast.

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