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Install tsunami warning sirens on the Kāpiti Coast

This petition had 1,248 supporters

Recent earthquakes, including the 12:02am 7.5 magnitude earthquake on 14 November 2016, have illustrated that the Kāpiti Coast does not have an adequate tsunami warning system. While many other parts of Wellington were evacuating their red zone tsunami warning areas, residents of Kāpiti remained in the dark about whether or not they needed to go.

While thankfully this time the Kāpiti Coast was not at direct risk of a severe tsunami, the fact that many people were unsure of whether they should evacuate or not, and the success of tsunami warning sirens in other communities around the country, indicates that it's time the Kāpiti Coast District Council took its responsibility of protecting its citizens seriously and install a comprehensive tsunami siren warning system along the Kāpiti Coast.

With one in four Kāpiti Coast residents being aged over 65 and not necessarily having ready access to social media or other means of receiving information or updates about warnings, tsunami sirens are a simple, easily understood means with which to warn our community about whether they need to evacuate or not.

It may be true that, compared to the eastern coast of New Zealand, the Kāpiti Coast may have a lower risk of tsunamis, there is ample historical evidence of devastating tsunamis hitting the Kāpiti Coast, including as recently as 1855. There are also active fault lines off both Kāpiti Island, and in the northern parts of Cook Strait that also pose significant risks to our communities.

If anything, recent events have highlighted that a simple, easily deployed system like tsunami sirens (versus the Council's current approach of car driven sirens and radio broadcasts) will enable much more effect notification of our communities of the need to evacuate than is currently the case.

The Kāpiti Coast District Council must take this risk seriously and implement a comprehensive tsunami siren warning system along the district's coast as soon as is practically possible.

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