An earthquake is the first warning that a tsunami might be on the way. Do not wait for official warnings to evacuate.
Use these maps to plan your own evacuation route. Each map reflects our best knowledge for that area at the time of publication. The evacuation maps are based on a 14m tsunami.
Tsunami Evacuation Map 1 - Mount (899kb pdf) Tsunami Evacuation Map 2 - Arataki (Bayfair) (3mb pdf)
Tsunami Evacuation Map 3 - Papamoa (3mb pdf) Tsunami Evacuation Map 4 - Wairakei (Papamoa East) (3mb pdf)
Tsunami Evacuation Map 5 - Matua (6mb pdf) Tsunami Evacuation Map 6 - Welcome Bay (5mb pdf)
Tsunami safe zone (green areas)
During a tsunami evacuation, the sooner you get away from the red and orange zones the better. Blue arrows on the maps show the fastest routes to walk to safety.
The green zone is safe from a tsunami because it is sufficiently high or inland. Some of the safe locations are within the yellow evacuation zone because they are on high ground. Safe locations are identified with a safe location icon.
Red evacuation zone
Every tsunami will affect this part of the coastline. You should always evacuate this area if there is any sort of tsunami warning, whether that warning comes from unofficial sources (like text messages or social media), official warnings, or natural warning signs.
Orange evacuation zone
Civil Defence may ask you to move from the orange zone into the yellow zone. Tsunami from regional or distant sources (further away than 1000km) could take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours to arrive. You won’t feel an earthquake for this type of tsunami so this is where things like warning systems, text alerts, emails, TV/radio and social media are really important.
Yellow evacuation zone
The worst case tsunami, similar to the big one that hit Japan in 2011, is predicted to flood the yellow zone. There is a very low chance this will happen in our lifetime but if it does happen there will be no time for official warnings. After a major earthquake it would take about 50 minutes for this tsunami to reach the coast, plus maybe another 30 minutes to flood the yellow zone. The further into the yellow zone you get, the shallower and slower moving the water will be. If you plan ahead and evacuate as soon as you can after that first earthquake you have a very good chance of surviving this devastating tsunami.
Last Reviewed: 13/11/2017