Kids rise to tsunami drill

Lessons at Timaru South Pareora Campus School have been taken to higher ground to show pupils and their families what to do if a tsunami is on its way.

The school performed a mock tsunami evacuation drill yesterday, which involved pupils, their parents and the teachers.

Associate principal Jo O'Sullivan said the aim of the exercise was to have a plan in place if a tsunami ever did occur. It was also designed to show children there was nothing to be fearful of, she said.

"Children have seen what's happened with earthquakes [in Christchurch] and the tsunami in Japan . . . So we've come up with a plan if there was a tsunami."

The children, along with their families, took part in that plan for the first time yesterday.

An evacuation siren sounded, prompting children to gather at designated area of the school before walking to higher ground along Half Chain Rd.

Mrs O'Sullivan also sent group texts to all of the parents to inform them of the situation and requested they collect their children. Parents had been informed that the drill would be taking place.

"The idea was to see what the glitches were. The only thing wrong was the cellphone, which I need to update."

She said everyone co-operated well with the drill: "It went well, the kids were so good. The older children looked after the younger kids. They didn't panic."

The Timaru Herald