Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lucia Tsunami effects in Kapiti [UPDATE]

Sometimes it's a little freaky living by the beach. Every time there is a tsunami warning, I'm mentally checking what I might need to grab if we had to leave home in a hurry, and what the best route to take is so that we don't get over taken by a tsunami.

This latest warning after the 7.8 7.6 earthquake this morning at the Kermadec Islands got me a little concerned as I was getting up for the day, but apparently, no biggie down here, not to worry, it's all ok.

Well, to the afternoon and my youngest son's swimming lesson, which is right by the beach. We arrived to find driftwood and mud in the carpark, as if the tide had come right up and washed over everything. And then right next to the carpark, this is what the mouth of the Wharemauku stream looked like as water poured both into it from the sea and out of the river itself, which was already high due to the rain. I've never seen the entire area covered in water like that before.

After the swimming lesson was over, we came back to find that the water had gone down. However, as we were sitting in the car, a huge surge came in and raised the level of the water dramatically. I filmed a little bit of it (I missed the initial surge on the clip, unfortunately) and then decided to leave.

Looking out my window towards the sea right now, I can see no evidence of a tsunami. We are probably (at most) 100m away from the beach, with a row of houses in front of us. So far the yards of the houses in front look fine, no water coming in from the sea yet. I bet the dunes are going to be seriously damaged after this, however.

UPDATE:   Looks like there are issues with how the tsunami warning was given by the media before there was official word from Civil Defence.  Honestly, I'd much rather know straight away that there could be a problem rather than waiting for Civil Defence to scramble and give their assessment where it might be too late.

Related links : Tsunami warnings cause confusion ~ TVNZ
Tsunami warnings were correct - Minister ~ NZ Herald
Plea to follow Civil Defence advice on tsunami ~ Radio NZ

3 comment(s):

Andrei said...

It's all a bit precious worrying about who issued word warning.

You hear a Tsunami may be on its way and take precautions.

Tsunami doesn't come no real problem.

Tsunami strikes, you are alive and it doesn't matter who warned you, just that you were warned.

Lucia Maria said...

Andrei, yep.

And in this case, it took Civil Defence some time to actually come up with their own warning. Which, from what I saw today, was not adequete.

A couple of tsunami warnings ago, nothing like what I saw today at the swimming pool beach/river area occured at all.

I suppose it's good. I'm getting experience with warnings and directions of earthquakes, and seeing for myself what the effects are, and the next time I hear about an earthquake in the Pacific that is closer, I'm in the car with my kids (and husband if he's home) and we're off to my of friends' houses in the hills.

KG said...

Lucia Maria, they have to polish their clipboards and don the hi-viz vests first. Put new batteries in the radios, stop for a cuppa.....

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