Tsunami evacuation zones are areas along the Christchurch coastline that will be the focus of any evacuation activity in the event of a tsunami.

Tsunami evacuation zones

Banks Peninsula - evacuate to higher ground at least 20m above sea level or 1km inland.

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Currently no evacuation zones are available for less populated areas of Banks Peninsula. 

How the evacuation zones are determined

The tsunami evacuation zones are determined by local tsunami and coastal scientists and emergency managers.

Every tsunami is different and most will not flood land, although they can still cause strong currents and water surges.  If a tsunami does flood land, the areas affected will be determined by the exact size and direction the tsunami is coming from.

The evacuation zones include these different tsunami scenarios and extends further inland than the worst flooding we would expect to see in a 2,500 year time frame. 

As research about earthquakes and tsunamis continues, and further modelling work is developed, it is possible that the zones could change slightly. 

When to evacuate - Long or strong, get gone

If you’re near the sea, and you’re in an earthquake that is strong enough to make it difficult to stand up, or a long rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more, once the shaking stops head inland or for higher ground. 

Self evacuate - don’t wait for the tsunami sirens – if it’s long or strong, get gone.

Keep safe by evacuating when you are advised to. There may not always be a tsunami, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Warning signs

If you feel it is unsafe for you and/or your family to remain in the area – leave.

  • Move to a safe area outside the Coastal Evacuation area – preferably to friends or family. Civil Defence centres will be set up as soon as possible (public announcements will be made about the location of these centres)
  • You can evacuate to higher ground (e.g. Mt. Pleasant Road, Evans Pass Road, Summit Road) – at least 20m above sea level is recommended
  • Do not return to the evacuation zone until the official all clear is given (if the tsunami siren stops this doesn't mean you can return)
  • Follow the instructions of emergency services and/or Civil Defence personnel.

Share official warnings

Share any official warnings that you are aware of with neighbours, family and friends who are near the coast.

Evacuation routes

If you are required to evacuate, take the route closest to your home or workplace (follow the direction of emergency services personnel).

  • Harbour Road - Kainga Road - Marshlands Road (Kainga)
  • Spencerville Road -  Marshlands Road (Spencerville)
  • Lower Styx Road -  Marshlands Road (Styx)
  • Beach Road - Mairehau Road (Northshore)
  • Bowhill Road - Travis Road (North New Brighton)
  • Lonsdale - Keyes - Rookwood - Travis (North New Brighton)
  • Seaview Terrace - Pages Road (New Brighton)
  • Bridge Street - Breezes Road (South New Brighton)
  • Bridge Street - Dyers Road - Linwood Avenue (Southshore)
  • Rocking Horse Road - Estuary Road - Bridge St (Southshore)
  • Main Road - Ferry Road (Redcliffs, Sumner)
  • Wakefield Avenue - Evans Pass Road - Summit Road (Sumner)
  • Ferry Road or Hargreaves Road (Ferrymead)
  • Bridle Path Road - Tunnel Road (Heathcote Valley)

Cordons will be set-up by the Police and the Council’s roading contractors at key points to:

  • prevent members of the public entering the evacuated area;
  • assist traffic flow out of the area and facilitate emergency services entering when required.

Cordons will be maintained until it is safe for people to re-enter the evacuation area.