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Tsunami Hīkoi

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Practise saves lives

All of Aotearoa's coastline is at risk of tsunami, and a tsunami from the Hikurangi Subduction Zone could arrive in minutes following a LONG OR STRONG earthquake. When a long or strong earthquake happens,everyone in the tsunami zone, must move inland or to higher ground immediately.

Tsunami Hīkoi is your practice evacuation walk, to higher ground, by foot or bike.

Practicing builds muscle memory, allowing you and your whānau to move quickly and safely in a real event.

We know that practicing tsunami evacuation works, as it helped save the lives of more than 95% of people after the Japan earthquake in 2011.


Are you are interested in organising a Tsunami Hīkoi for your household, organisation, or community?

Every March, around the anniversary of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, East Coast LAB holds Tsunami Hīkoi Week. Download our Tsunami Hīkoi Guide and Tsunami Hīkoi Poster and help spread the word this Tsunami Hīkoi Week!

You don't have to wait for Tsunami Hīkoi Week start practicing. Find a route out of the tsunami zone and turn your daily run, bike ride, or dog walk a Tsunami Hīkoi!

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Tsunami Hīkoi for Households

If you live in a tsunami zone, make a plan with your whānau or flatmates, and get practicing. That way you'll all know where to go and where you can meet in the event of a tsunami. 

If you live outside of the tsunami zone, you may still work, learn, or play in the zone, so get practicing and talk to your household about where you plan to go. If your home is safely outside the zone, you can also be a safe place for friends and family who have to evacuate.


Tsunami Hīkoi for Kura/School and Early Learning Services

All kura/schools or early learning services in a tsunami zone should practice evacuating the tsunami zone, to their nearest safe location.

You can make your practice during the annual Tsunami Hīkoi Week, or the National Earthquake Drill - Shakeout but if you can't practice at those times, find another time during the year and make it an annual practice, just like a fire drill.

Practicing is also a good opportunity to remind parents and caregivers of where they should meet their children if a tsunami evacuation occurs. Whānau and caregivers attempting to collect their children from kura/school or centre after a long or strong earthquake, could be putting themselves at serious risk.

If your kura/school or centre is not in an evacuation zone, you could help a nearby kura/school or centre who are in the tsunami zone, by creating a plan together and being their "safe zone" in the event of a tsunami.


Tsunami Hīkoi for Businesses

All organisations and businesses with facilities in the evacuation zone should practice their Tsunami Hīkoi. This could be during Tsunami Hīkoi Week or the National Earthquake Drill - Shakeout, but if you can't practice at those times, find another time during the year and make it an annual practice, just like a fire drill.

You could do it during a lunchtime, so everyone has the opportunity to participate. You can also encourage staff to keep an emergency grab bag under their desk, which they can take with them on their Tsunami Hīkoi, and more importantly, a real evacuation.


Getting in Touch

East Coast Lab
159 Dalton Street, Private Bag 6006 Napier, 4142
P: +64 6 835 9200
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