Tsunami sirens installed along beaches

03:18, Jun 18 2012
Tsunami sirens
UNDERWAY: Tsunami sirens are being installed in Rockinghorse Road, South Brighton, today.

Work to install Christchurch's tsunami warning system has begun.

The city council is installing 22 tsunami sirens on the coastline between Waimairi Beach and Sumner this month at a cost of $550,000.

Mayor Bob Parker said they would be operational from July 1.

''Contractors will spend the next three weeks installing the sirens and silently testing the system.''

He said residents would hear the sirens for the first time at 11am on July 22 when the sirens were tested for one to two minutes.

It was important that residents were able to identify the sound the sirens made to know when they needed to evacuate the coastal area, Parker said.


''If during the testing the sirens are reactivated for more than 10 minutes, it will no longer be a test. Residents are advised they will need to evacuate the area.''

The test day would be a good time for coastal residents to make sure they had an evacuation plan in place, he said.

Businesses also needed to have an evacuation plan and ensure staff knew the closest evacuation route to their workplace.

Further testing of the sirens would happen twice a year on the Sundays when daylight saving began and ended.

''There is a risk of tsunami inundation in Christchurch, but that risk is considered low and has not changed as a result of the recent earthquakes,'' Parker said.

The sirens would not be used in a local tsunami but might be used in a regional tsunami, depending on when the tsunami was expected to reach land.

The Press