Re: Christchurch imaginary killer tsunami

The 14 November early-morning debacle 2016, where false tsunami evacuation alerts panicked so many into a dark night after the Wairau 7.8-magnitude earthquake, was unacceptable waste and fear-mongering cry-wolf. Some had homes looted that public donations then had to compensate.[1] These Christchurch city alarms should not have been sounded for this event, two hours too late anyway. Many chose correctly to ignore them. What is going on? Blame government that does not seem to care or even know how to.

The fact is, government knew there was no tsunami risk from the first evaluation but still allowed the panic to waste massive time and resource energy:

“314
WEPA42 PHEB 140042
TIBPAC

TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
0042 UTC MON NOV 14 2016

…PTWC TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT…

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

THIS STATEMENT IS ISSUED FOR INFORMATION ONLY IN SUPPORT OF THE
UNESCO/IOC PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING AND MITIGATION SYSTEM AND IS
MEANT FOR NATIONAL AUTHORITIES IN EACH COUNTRY OF THAT SYSTEM.

NATIONAL AUTHORITIES WILL DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF
ALERT FOR EACH COUNTRY AND MAY ISSUE ADDITIONAL OR MORE REFINED
INFORMATION.

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
———————————

* MAGNITUDE 6.8
* ORIGIN TIME 0034 UTC NOV 14 2016
* COORDINATES 42.7 SOUTH 173.4 EAST
* DEPTH 10 KM / 6 MILES
* LOCATION SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND

EVALUATION
———-

* AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 6.8 OCCURRED IN
SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND AT 0034 UTC ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 14
2016.

* BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA… THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT
FROM THIS EARTHQUAKE.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
——————-

* NO ACTION IS REQUIRED.

NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
————————————–

* THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED OR THE SITUATION CHANGES.

* AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKE FROM THE U.S.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CAN BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT
EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV/EARTHQUAKES -ALL LOWER CASE-.

* FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT MAY BE FOUND AT
PTWC.WEATHER.GOV AND AT WWW.TSUNAMI.GOV.

* COASTAL REGIONS OF HAWAII… AMERICAN SAMOA… GUAM… AND
CNMI SHOULD REFER TO PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES
SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE PLACES THAT CAN BE FOUND AT
PTWC.WEATHER.GOV.

* COASTAL REGIONS OF CALIFORNIA… OREGON… WASHINGTON…
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD ONLY REFER TO U.S.
NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES THAT CAN BE FOUND
AT NTWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV.

$$” – http://ptwc.weather.gov/?region=1&id=pacific.TIBPAC.2016.11.14.0042

The initial earthquake magnitude estimates ran:
http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.TIBPAC.2016.11.13.1113 7.4
http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.TIBPAC.2016.11.13.1150 7.9
http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.TIBPAC.2016.11.13.1304 7.9
http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=pacific.TIBPAC.2016.11.14.0042 6.8
http://ptwc.weather.gov/ptwc/text.php?id=hawaii.TIBHWX.2016.11.14.0043 6.8
So the earthquake size was quite accurately known – until downplayed to 6.6 by GNS Science for days – and tsunami danger was accurately ruled out, by the global tsunami warning centre, from the very start.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Cente 13.11.16 finding conformed with the actual known risk, as assessed by the local authority long-term:

Q-Files - Tsunamis extract Environment Canterbury p.8

Q-Files – Tsunamis extract, Environment Canterbury 2006, p.8

“If tsunami warning sirens sound, or you receive an official warning to evacuate, evacuate the coastal evacuation zones for your district.. You will have several hours to evacuate.. The most likely regional tsunami source for Pegasus Bay is the Hikurangi subduction zone fault, off the Wairarapa/Hawke’s Bay/East Coast coast.. A tsunami from this fault would likely take around 1-3 hours to reach Pegasus Bay. It is unlikely to be large here, but it may flood low lying areas around Sumner, the estuary and Lyttelton Harbour. Sea heights above sea level at the time here would probably be around 1-3 metres.. The chances of a local source tsunami being generated by an earthquake in Pegasus Bay are low and have not changed significantly as a result of the recent earthquakes. Scientists have discovered some earthquake faults on the sea floor in Pegasus Bay, but they appear to move very infrequently (once every few thousand or tens of thousands of years). They are not thought to be big enough, and therefore would not produce enough vertical (up and down) movement, to create a significant tsunami that would flood large amounts of land.. Tsunami sirens will be sounded for a distant source tsunami, where they are installed. If you hear the sirens, you must evacuate the tsunami evacuation zones for your district. You will have several hours to evacuate.”
http://ecan.govt.nz/advice/emergencies-and-hazard/tsunami/pages/default.aspx
http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/q-files-tsunamis-booklet.pdf from
http://ecan.govt.nz/advice/emergencies-and-hazard/Pages/booklets-q-files.aspx

Clearly officials panicked at seeing tide levels drop suddenly on 14.11.16, without knowing this was because of shoreline up-thrust. These officials then panicked others, and members of the public into leaving their homes unnecessarily, most ignorant of the actual low risk. The wrongly-imprinted hazard image – of a massively destructive high wall of water coming instantly ashore (like the Boxing Day 2004 Aceh, Indonesia or the March 2011 Sendai, Japan tsunami) – DOES NOT APPLY HERE. All this confusion should come out with the promised investigation of the 14.11.16 response. We live in hope, that it will be both a timely and productive investigation.[2]

The public should take from all this the lesson, to learn what actual tsunami risk exists for their home area and take appropriate precautions. Prepare appropriately and do not be panicked about imagined large tsunami risk in Canterbury ever again.

The difference is, the Alpine Fault is our tectonic plate impact zone – strong enough to build very high mountains (transform fault) – and this is the direct opposite kind of tectonic plate impact to that capable of producing tsunami (subduction fault). FACT. Fear not large tsunami here. Please do share and enlighten further.

The Civil Defence earthquake-tsunami mantra, “Long or strong, get gone” is not argued with here as potentially life-saving general education. But Christchurch’s experience of the 14.11.16 Waiau quake was ‘moderately long but not strong’ so it was not valid cause for fearful running from local shores or for official alarm-sounding. The alarm was therefore a misguided political act: to satisfy public expectations (of an alarm) incorrectly set. Let us work together now to repair this widely cast misconception of risk and relevant response.

nzmcdem-tsu

[1] Generosity of strangers wins out for Christchurch family burgled after quake http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/86419856/Generosity-of-strangers-wins-out-for-Christchurch-family-burgled-after-quake + Robbed Christchurch family to share proceeds with other quake victims
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86494324/Robbed-Christchurch-family-to-share-proceeds-with-other-quake-victims + More than 1000 donors give $40,000 to family burgled after tsunami evacuation http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/86473880/more-than-1000-donors-give-40000-to-family-burgled-after-tsunami-evacuation + ‘Vultures’ stole Christchurch father’s van as he prepared to evacuate family after quakes http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/86529225/vultures-stole-christchurch-fathers-van-as-he-prepared-to-evacuate-family-after-quakes + Thieves still at large after Christchurch earthquake evacuee homes burgled http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/86571543/thieves-still-at-large-after-christchurch-earthquake-evacuee-homes-burgled

[2] Tweet: “MCDEM ‏@NZcivildefence Nov 13 [UTC] People on the east coast (including the Chatham Islands) close to the epicentre can expect waves of 3-5 metres. Move to high ground #eqnz”
Earthquake: Deaths, major damage after severe 7.5 quake hits Hanmer Springs, tsunami warning issued “One person died at a property at Mt Lyford, north of Christchurch. The low-lying seaside suburb of Sumner was deserted after residents evacuated, and schools closed for the day. Lyttelton tunnel has been closed until further notice. A New Brighton family who evacuated their home after the quake returned to find their house ransacked by burglars. Matt Mill said they family-of-four had left their home about 2am, after the tsunami risk was broadcast. They returned to their Bower Ave home about 6.30am to find their home damaged, not from the shaking, nor any tsunami, but by burglars who took advantage of a suburb empty of people. Mill said the burglars stole televisions, sports gear and distressingly, a transmitter for his daughter’s hearing aid. His work truck was also stolen. Linwood resident Alice Coats said the tsunami sirens have been going went off intermittently for a couple of hours. The quake felt like a long wave, Coats said. ‘So, we all knew it was a big one.’ As soon as the tsunami warning came in, it was a little more frightening, so she jumped into her car with her flatmate, and went to the airport. Coats said the vagueness of the Civil Defence warnings were frustrating. Tsunami sirens started sounding along Christchurch’s coastline at 2.14am. A significant amount of traffic moved away from New Brighton and other coastal suburbs towards central Christchurch and the Port Hills. Police and Civil Defence have closed the tunnel (State Highway 74), which links Christchurch with the seaside suburb of Lyttelton. The tunnel has been closed temporarily for checks following previous large earthquakes. In the CBD, hotels and occupied buildings were evacuated.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/86416268/Earthquake-Deaths-major-damage-after-severe-7-5-quake-hits-Hanmer-Springs-tsunami-warning-issued 14 November 2016 +
Earthquake: Tsunamis hit, warnings downgraded “Several evacuation centres had been set up in the Waimakariri district, north of Christchurch. Welfare centres had been set up at the Woodend Community Centre, Rangiora Baptist Church, Oxford School Hall, and the Kaiapoi Rugby Club. Linwood College has been set up as a evacuation point for people who have left their home in Christchurch.. People living on low-lying ground within one kilometre of the Christchurch coastline had earlier been advised to evacuate inland or to higher ground as a precaution. Tsunami sirens activated at 2.14am in Christchurch’s coastal suburbs, more than an hour after the first tsunami warnings were issued by Civil Defence. The sirens, located from Brooklands to Taylors Mistake, were meant to sound for about 10 minutes to alert residents they could need to evacuate. A significant amount of traffic could be seen heading away from New Brighton and other coastal suburbs towards central Christchurch and the Port Hills. Early on Monday morning police were driving around the New Brighton area with flashing lights on” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86416653/cheviot-quake-tsunami-warnings-issued (oh-so-wrong?) MCDEM graphic:

Ministry graphic 141116

NZ Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management graphic 141116 – ref. http://twitter.com/NZcivildefence

Coastal Christchurch residents criticise delay in tsunami warning system “A delay activating tsunami warning sirens could have been life-threatening to those living in Christchurch beach suburbs, residents say. Some are demanding answers as to why sirens did not sound until about 2am, two hours after the magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck and an hour after the national civil defence website instructed coastal residents to move to higher ground immediately. ‘Something needs to be done,’ New Brighton resident Shanna Howden said. If there had been a large wave, Howden questioned whether people could have escaped in time. Heavy traffic and bad roads meant it took 45 minutes for them to get out of New Brighton. ‘There must be a way to put something in place to make it a smoother process,’ she said. Tsunami warnings come from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) in Wellington but local authorities are responsible for civil defence emergency management in their own areas. MCDEM posted its first tsunami warning on its website at 1am. The warning was repeated at 1.30am and not lifted until 3.39am. In Christchurch, the tsunami sirens began at 2am and sounded well beyond dawn. However, messages sent by the ministry to the duty officer at the Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury civil defence emergency management group were less clear. Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was more interested in learning from the experience than casting blame. ‘I don’t know what went wrong but it’s important we fix this.’ Canterbury civil defence emergency group controller Neville Reilly said the council’s duty officer had relied on the group’s advice. The group’s decision to wait a couple of hours before firing the sirens was done in consultation with a tsunami scientist but without the knowledge that MCDEM was already instructing evacuation on its website. ‘It would have been nice if there wasn’t the confusion coming from emails which were different from the website,’ he said. ‘The worst thing you want to do is cry wolf although safety is paramount. There’s no black and white.’ MCDEM was unable to respond on Monday.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86439726/coastal-christchurch-residents-criticise-delay-in-tsunami-warning-system 14 November 2016
Christchurch Star https://issuu.com/the.star/docs/116322cs 17 November 2016 (censored?)
Civil Defence overhaul ‘inevitable’ after tsunami warning confusion: Govt 17 November 2016 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/86441740/civil-defence-overhaul-inevitable-after-tsunami-warning-confusion-govt
GNS: Tsunami caught us by surprise http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/kaikoura-earthquake/318506/gns-tsunami-caught-us-by-surprise 20 November 2016 + Govt to push for tsumani text message system http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/318473/govt-to-push-for-tsumani-text-message-system
Civil Defence’s earthquake response to be reviewed http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/kaikoura-earthquake/318584/civil-defence’s-earthquake-response-to-be-reviewed 21 November 2016
Minister criticises GeoNet’s funding call http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/kaikoura-earthquake/318618/minister-criticises-geonet’s-funding-call 22 November 2016
Review of tsunami alerts likely after Kaikoura earthquake “All in all the response to the early morning Kaikoura earthquake seems to have been a bit of a shambles. Frightening for some and a non-event for others.. warning came out from National Civil Defence at 1.20am. Problems had hit the MCDEM website just after 1am with people advised to follow updates on their Facebook and Twitter instead.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86742260/review-of-tsunami-alerts-likely-after-kaikoura-earthquake 24 November 2016 Comment:
“Straw Man – please decommission the Christchurch ones too. They caused unnecessary panic and are not even required. Many hours to evacuate in the case of a large tsunami, and not required for local quakes – there is no sub-duction zone off the ChCh coast. And yes, im aware of the 0.5m tsunami from the Kaikora EQ. It was not worth evacuating thousands of people. There was more risk of death or injury resulting from panicking drivers doing dumb things. Also, Pegasus bay does not funnel the swell into a confined space such as little pidgeon bay either. Start with a little education a[nd] ditch this ridiculous culture of fear that we have developed.”

etc

Watch 15 Years Of Earthquakes Rock The Planet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/earthquake-animation-noaa-pacific-tsunami_us_58420f7ce4b0c68e0480f908? 2 December 2016

9 December 2016
Huge earthquake hits off Solomons, sparks tsunami warning for New Zealand “The earthquake triggered possible tsunami threats across the Pacific. Waves between one metre and 3m were possible along some coasts of the Solomon Islands, with waves from 30cm to 1m possible in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center predicted. A tsunami watch for New Zealand had been issued, but since cancelled by Civil Defence” http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/87378899/Huge-earthquake-hits-off-Solomons-sparks-tsunami-warning-for-New-ZealandLive: Huge earthquake strikes Solomon Islands http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/87379714/Live-Huge-earthquake-strikes-Solomon-IslandsInitial reports suggest ‘3000 people affected’ by earthquake off Solomon Islands “A tsunami watch for New Zealand had been issued, but since cancelled by Civil Defence. Civil Defence continued to advise people to stay out of the water owing to the threat of unusual currents, but said there was no threat to beaches and land. Earlier, Civil Defence controller Sarah Stewart-Black had told RNZ this was ‘not the same situation as after the Kaikoura earthquake’. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were forecast to be less than 30cm for New Zealand. They could take 4-5 hours to arrive, Civil Defence said. Waves between one metre and 3m were possible along some coasts of the Solomon Islands, with waves from 30cm to 1m possible in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the US authority predicted” http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/87378899/81-magnitude-earthquake-hits-solomons–usgs + Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes off coast of Northern California “no tsunami warning, advisory or threat in effect following the earthquake”
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/87378423/Magnitude-6-5-earthquake-strikes-off-coast-of-Northern-California

16 December 2016
Selwyn Tsunami evacuation plan
http://www.star.kiwi/2016/12/selwyn-tsunami-evacuation-areas/

20 December 2016
Tsunami evacuation plan kept under wraps “New Brighton residents are furious a tsunami evacuation plan for the area, which could have prevented the traffic chaos, was kept under wraps”
http://www.star.kiwi/2016/12/tsunami-evacuation-plan-kept-under-wraps/

21 December 2016
Coping with an increased risk of quakes “are we in the midst of a period of heightened risk?” asserts random dispersion, no pattern to recent large earthquakes: “The 7.8 Kaikoura quake was one of four earthquakes greater than Magnitude 7 in the last 7 years, and one of only five tremors of that magnitude or larger ever recorded in New Zealand. A similar period of increased activity was seen between 1929 and 1942 when New Zealand experienced a third of all earthquakes of magnitude 7 or larger recorded in the last 160 years..” http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201828532/coping-with-an-increased-risk-of-quakes

25 December 2016
M 7.6 – ISLA CHILOE, LOS LAGOS, CHILE – 2016-12-25 14:22:26 UTC
http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=555101
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/tsunami_msgs/HEBTIBHWX.201612251632

26 December 2016
Book details Wheatsheaf flood after earthquake 1868 & 1960
http://www.star.kiwi/2016/12/book-details-wheatsheaf-flood-after-earthquake/

9 January 2017
Tsunami evacuation spurs action “Civil Defence will be boosted in Little River and Birdlings Flat after residents living near the sea had nowhere to evacuate to after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on November 14”
http://www.star.kiwi/2017/01/tsunami-evacuation-spurs-action/

11 January 2017
Earthquake rattles Wellington and the upper South Island “hit at 1.19pm on Wednesday, jolting office workers across the capital” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/88313350/Earthquake-rattles-Wellington-and-the-upper-South-Island

12 January 2017
Water in Marlborough aquifers rises after 7.8-magnitude earthquake “gaps between the gravel that formed the aquifers had shrunk, causing wells to spill over.. too early to say whether the 7.8-magnitude quake had caused any permanent damage to the underground water network” http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/88274851/water-in-marlborough-aquifers-rises-after-78magnitude-earthquake

[post under edit – return to read more later – thanks for viewing]

Changes to follow tsunami confusion in Christchurch 7 April 2017
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/91330663/changes-to-follow-tsunami-confusion-in-christchurch

The real and major risk for mid-Canterbury is not coastal – Project AF8: http://projectaf8.co.nz/ – Alpine Fault Magnitude 8

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