Tsunami Siren FAQs


Daylight saving end triggers tsumani alert test


Aucklanders are advised there will be “no cause for alarm” at noon, as the city’s tsunami sirens are given their twice-yearly test.


The test coincides with the end of daylight saving.


The test sequence will be three sets of tones, each signaling a specific action. They will sound for one minute each and there will be 15 seconds between each set.  In an emergency, tones will sound for longer.


“It’s important to regularly test the sirens to make sure they are working,” says Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Committee chairperson Sharon Stewart.


“There is no cause for alarm when the sirens are tested and the public aren’t required to do anything,” she says.


The tests give residents the opportunity to find out what the sirens sound like, so they can be prepared in the event of a real emergency.


The sirens are one of several technology-based public warning systems that Auckland Civil Defence has in place for the entire region, says Craig Glover, Head of Strategy and Planning for Auckland Civil Defence and Emergency Management.


“People can also subscribe to SMS text messaging or email alerts, the Red Cross Hazard smartphone app or engage with us via Twitter and Facebook,” he says.


Messages will be sent to those signed up to civil defence and emergency alerts, letting them know the siren being sounded is a test.


The tsunami sirens are located in Rodney at Point Wells, Whangateau, Omaha and Waiwera.  In Waitākere sirens are located at Bethells Beach Te Henga, Piha North, Piha South, Karekare, Whatipu, Little Huia, Huia, Te Atatu South, Harbour View Road, Te Atatu Peninsula North, Westpark Marina and Herald Island.

Do the sirens cover all coastal areas?

No they don’t. The selected sites and coverage areas are designed for populated locations from sea level and up to 10 metres from sea level.

Will the sirens hurt my ears?

The sirens are designed to start at a low noise level and increase to full volume over the first four or five repetitions.  This gives people in close proximity to a siren warning to cover their ears while moving away to a safe distance.

When will the sirens be used?

Initially the system will only be activated to warn the public of any tsunami threat as may be notified to Civil Defence authorities by the National Warning System. The system has three tones to signal an alert only, evacuation required and all clear.

Dos and don'ts

  • Don’t panic when you hear the siren
  • Do identify if it is an alert or evacuate signal
  • Don’t travel in your car unless you have to
  • Do evacuate all beaches immediately on hearing the alert or evacuate signal
  • Don’t return until you have heard the all clear signal
  • Do know where your essential documents and medicines are to take with you


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