Tsunami Evacuation Zones

Tsunami Evacuation Zones in the Canterbury Region

Created by: canterburymaps
Last updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017



Are you in a tsunami evacuation zone?

Search for your property in the address search bar, or pan around the map to see Canterbury’s tsunami evacuation zones.

For more information on when and how to evacuate, see our tsunami pages on the Environment Canterbury website or contact your local emergency management officer at your city or district council.


What do these zones mean?

The Red Zone is the shore exclusion zone – beaches, estuaries and river mouths. Even if a tsunami is not big enough to flood land, it can cause strong and unusual currents in the water, and unpredictable surges onto beaches, which can knock people off their feet.


You need to get out of the Red Zone in any official tsunami warning or if you feel a long (more than a minute) or strong (hard to stand up) earthquake, or if there is any official tsunami warning in place.


The Orange Zone is a land evacuation zone. This is a zone that could be flooded by a large tsunami. 


You need to get out of this zone if you feel a long (more than a minute) or strong (hard to stand up) earthquake, or if you are asked to leave by emergency services in an official tsunami warning.


The Christchurch City tsunami evacuation zones (Brooklands to Taylors Mistake) are currently being reviewed, and evacuation zones are also being developed for Banks Peninsula.


In sparsely populated areas where there are currently no evacuation zones drawn up, you still need to move inland (at least 1km) or to high ground if you feel a long (more than a minute) or strong (hard to stand up) earthquake, or you get an official warning to evacuate.


How are the zones drawn?

The area flooded by a tsunami depends on many things – the size of the earthquake, the direction it is coming from and the tide level when the waves arrive. We can never say for sure exactly which areas will be flooded in a tsunami, and every tsunami will be different.

When drawing tsunami evacuation zones we consider many different tsunami scenarios. The evacuation zone boundaries do not represent one tsunami scenario, rather they are drawn to encompass the flooding from any tsunami we would expect in a 2500 year time frame.

The zone boundaries also usually follow some sort of feature that is easy to see on the ground, like roads, so that you know whether you are in or out of the zone. We also consider the locations of schools and rest homes, and may also include properties that may not necessarily be flooded in a tsunami, but would have their access and utilities cut off.

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