Civil Defence response to tsunami threat questioned

Newstalk ZB Staff,
Publish Date
Friday, 2 September 2016, 4:19PM
Minister for Civil Defence Nikki Kaye said the ministry will review its response (Getty Images)

The Civil Defence response to today's 7.1 magnitude earthquake will be reviewed to see if anything could have been done differently.

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Questions are being asked on social media about why it took Civil Defence almost 90 minutes to send out a text alert.

The Ministry of Civil Defence sent out its first national advisory at 5.10am - about 40 minutes after the quake hit.

A potential tsunami threat notice was not issued until 5.33am and a request for an emergency broadcast was not made until 5.58am.

Minister for Civil Defence Nikki Kaye said the ministry will review its response.

She said it already has a project underway looking at current processes for national warnings and public alerting, and this includes looking at the timeliness of alerts.

NZ:Timeline of earthquake response

4.37am earthquake strikes
4.41am - The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management receives initial notification of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake from GNS Science
4.53am - GNS upgrades quake to a 7.1
These earthquakes did not meet the threshold for automatic issuing of a potential tsunami threat, ministry says
5.10am - Ministry issues an earthquake notification
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre finds no tsunami threat in their initial assessment
5.33am - Ministry issues national advisory for a potential tsunami threat. Says it's proactive while awaiting confirmation from scientists
5.58am - A tsunami warning is issued
8.30am - Cancellation message sent at 8.30am.

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