Sea swell preparation
13 April 2017; 2pm

Precautionary plans are in place in case sea swells generated by Cyclone Cook threaten beachfront homes.

“At this stage we do not believe the swells will cause damage but we have plans prepared in case the forecasted level increases and we need to evacuate beachfront residents,” said Hastings Emergency Management local controller Mike Maguire.

High tide is at 7.30pm. The areas being watched are from Waimarama through to Haumoana. There is no warning in place for beaches to the northern end of the district, as the geography and wind direction mean they are unlikely to be affected.

“However, the sea and weather are unpredictable and people living on the beachfront should keep an eye on conditions and be prepared to self-evacuate if they feel unsafe. Don’t wait for council, get out if you are concerned,” said Mr Maguire.

Council is also warning that residents should be aware that gale force winds are forecast for late this afternoon.

“We need people to exercise common sense – stay away from parks and reserves where there are large trees, be aware of flying debris and limit travel to the absolutely necessary.

“What we want is for everyone to be safe.”

Residents thinking of travelling out of the region today are urged to check national weather and news sites to judge whether they should go ahead with their plans.

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Hawke’s Bay weather set to ease
5 April 2017, 9.40am

About 60 mm more rain is forecast to wash over Hawke’s Bay today, then clear for a time Wednesday afternoon, making way for a clearer outlook on Thursday.

Continuing rain has meant a busy night for HBRC Works Group staff, clearing weed and build-up from pumping station filters and drains. However there have been no issues with the region’s river control and drainage assets.  Local council staff have also been busy clearing stormwater sumps and managing pumping stations.

HBRC are regularly advising Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management, whose staff continue to monitor the rainfall and its effects.

Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group Controller Ian Macdonald is comfortable with the current situation.  

“We are extremely lucky in Hawke’s Bay to have a comprehensive river monitoring system which is monitored 24/7 by some very skilled and committed HBRC staff”.

“This is about the level of rain we see once a year. We’ve been monitoring the forecast and actual rainfall throughout. As you’d expect, we’re seeing surface flooding and some dirty water in our rivers and streams. In general, people should take care when out and about as there are a number of damaged roads across the region,” says Mr Macdonald.

Information on roads and slips can be found on the hbemergency Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hbemergency/.

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Testing alert systems in Hawke’s Bay
Friday 24 March 2017

If you hear sirens or “stingers” just before midday on Sunday 2 April, don’t be alarmed – it will be the region’s public alert systems being tested.

The 17 sirens in Napier will sound for five minutes from 11.50am; civil defence volunteers will be driving around Waimarama, Clive, the Cape Kidnappers coast and Whirinaki with “stingers”, and Wairoa coastal residents’ alert will come via a broadcast warning from a helicopter – weather permitting. Central Hawke’s Bay will be testing its coastal community telephone contacts list, using its new automatic “telephone tree” system which allows a computer to call volunteers simultaneously.

It’s part of the regular testing regime by the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, which will also be testing the Red Cross Hazards App on the day.

HB Emergency Management Group wants to remind the public of what the alert systems are for – encouraging everyone to seek further information, whether by tuning in to a local radio station and awaiting further instructions, visiting the hbemergency website, or the hbemergency Facebook page.

In a real emergency situation Hawke’s Bay radio station announcers will broadcast the latest advice from Civil Defence regarding what to do in an event.

“The Government is currently developing a national warning system but we still need to maintain and test our existing systems to ensure they are ready to go at all times,” says Ian Macdonald, HB Emergency Management Group Manager.

A key part of the testing is the survey people are encouraged to complete. The survey, which will be available online from noon on 2 April, until noon 14 April, will help the HB Emergency Management Group determine how effective the various components of the system are.

It will also be published in the Napier and Hastings Mails on 29 March and 5 April.

HB Emergency Management Group staff want to hear not only from people who did hear the alerts, but also those who didn’t, as it will help them pinpoint any faulty equipment or “blackspots” where the alerts did not reach.

If you complete the survey online before 1pm on 2 April your name will go into a draw to win emergency themed prizes, an emergency water tank, fitted, a family sized Grab n’ Go bag, for supplies and equipment you may need if you have to leave in a hurry, and a Grab n’ Go bag for an individual.

Remember in the event of a major earthquake, that is, one which lasts longer than a minute or is strong enough to knock you off your feet, the sirens will not sound and the best thing to do is to head for higher ground or at least 1.5km inland immediately.  Do not wait for a warning – remember this phrase: Strong or long get gone!

  • For more information, go to www.hbemergency.govt.nz, check for updates on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hbemergency) or Twitter @hbemergency. For information about a specific area, contact the relevant Emergency Management Officer at the Napier, Hastings, Central Hawke’s Bay or Wairoa Councils
  • Are you signed up for Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence text alerts? Those signed up will receive a text explaining the type of emergency and what action should be taken. The texting service will also be tested on 2 April. To sign up text follow napier_cd to 8987. Please note this facility is only available to Spark and Skinny customers due to Vodafone and 2 Degrees policy.

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Tsunami Hikoi
4.30pm 22 March 2017

The coastal communities of Te Awanga, Haumoana and Clifton communities are being given the chance to practise their tsunami evacuation routes this weekend.


A tsunami hikoi is being held on Sunday from 9.45am until 12.30pm. The event has been organised by Civil Defence volunteers from Hastings and local emergency management officer Alan Daly, with the support of East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary).


A tsunami hikoi is a walk that takes people along their tsunami evacuation route, either inland or towards high ground, and is an opportunity to practise it with neighbours and friends.


Alan Daly says everyone everywhere should know how to prepare for a tsunami and what to do to be safe.


“This is true for people who live or work near the coast, but also for anyone who may visit. It is also important to know whether you are in a tsunami evacuation zone,” says Mr Daly.


The walk will begin at three different locations – Te Awanga Hall domain area, Haumoana Hall carpark and picnic area opposite Cape View Four Square. It will follow signposted tsunami evacuation routes to the safe zone at Haumoana School.


At the school there will be a free sausage sizzle, the opportunity to learn more about tsunami and emergency preparedness, and activities for the kids.


There will be free bus transport courtesy of Gannet Safaris to ferry people back to their general home locations from 11.30am.


Any other communities interested in being part of a Tsunami hikoi project should contact East Coast LAB – www.eastcoastlab.org.nz

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Hot spot watch ongoing
10am - 16 February 17

All out-of-region fire crews will be stood down at end of shift tomorrow, with local crews taking over the management of the fire scenes.

This morning National Rural Fire Authority incident controller John Sutton said he was resting the bulk of the local firefighter force today and tomorrow, before they fully took over on Saturday.

“They’ve been fighting fires for weeks and after these latest very large events they are pretty flogged. Many of them have day jobs or are self-employed and have families so we need to give them time to catch up with their employers, businesses and families.”

The three largest fires (Waimarama Rd; Colin White Rd and Ripia Stream) are all considered to be contained but still require monitoring and hot spot attention.

The Colin White Rd and Ripia Stream sites were checked for hot spots using infrared heat-detecting technology yesterday and all sites would continue to be checked both from the air and on foot.

Mr Sutton said the aim was to have no hot spots within a 100m area inside the Waimarama Rd containment line by end of shift on Friday, “which will give us a very big defence space”. The same applied at Colin White Rd.

Hastings District Council local incident controller Craig Cameron said the efforts of all the fire personnel had been “outstanding”.

“We can’t thank them enough. All of these people have given up all of their time and contact with their families, to help us protect our people and houses.”

Welfare teams had also been “fully active” over the three days, knocking on the doors of those nearest the Waimarama RD and Colin White Rd fires, ensuring they were fully aware of any actions they needed to take.

He said it was imperative that residents did not take any risks with fire that could put the district back into a similar position. “We have rain forecast but it is unlikely that any rain we get will be enough to fully dampen down the region.”

The Total Fire Ban would remain in place until further notice; which meant no outdoor fires at all, including solid fuel barbecues (coal and wood), hangi and fireworks.

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Local helicopters remain on standby
2pm - 15 February 2017

Four local helicopters remain on standby to fight fires in Hastings, while those from out of the region are being returned to their home bases at the end of today.

“This does not mean we are out of danger but we are at a stage where ground crews are the best option, with the local helicopters used to assist,” said National Rural Fire Authority incident controller John Sutton.

If conditions changed, helicopters from out of the area could be back on site in about 30 minutes, he said.

Seven ground crews were at the Waimarama fire site battling hot spots today, with another crew working on the Colin White Rd fire. NZ Army fire crews will be at the Waimarama site overnight.

Out of region ground crews will also start to be stood down tonight, although the specialised forestry firefighting crews will be kept on until at least the end of the week. All of the Hawke’s Bay crews will continue to work shifts at the fire sites until the danger is past.

“It has been excellent to have the help of crews from across the North Island however we are not the only region in this situation and we are now well able to manage the risks with our own resources,” said Mr Sutton.

Until all hotspots are dealt with it is important that people in areas close to the fires remain prepared to react if conditions changed, said Hastings District Council local incident controller Alison Banks.

“The scaling back of resources does not mean the danger has passed; it means that we have the resources locally to manage the fires at the stage they are at.”

The area is still very dry and under a complete fire ban, which means no outdoor fires including hangi, solid fuel barbecues and fireworks. Extra care has to be taken with any outdoor activity that could cause a spark; things like chain sawing, lawn mowing and welding.

“Some people are continuing to take risks and Hastings District Council is warning that we will consider prosecution if people light outdoor fires. These fires have caused a major amount of damage and put stresses on our volunteer firefighters. We will not tolerate people flouting the fire ban and risking other events such as the one we have just been through,” said Ms Banks.

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Hastings Fies Update
9.25am - 15 February 2017

Lighter than forecast winds yesterday were “extremely helpful” in the fight to put out three large fires in Hastings yesterday.

This morning the Waimarama fire is contained but being closely monitored. Full crews remain on site, putting out hot spots. People living in the areas of the fires are being asked to remain prepared to self-evacuate if necessary, said Hastings District Council local emergency controller Craig Cameron.

The Civil Defence Emergency status remains in place until further notice, as wind shifts expected today which could potentially change the situation.

Residents may still see smoke from within the fire’s perimeter, however any flare ups are confined to within the 30km fire breaks the fire services have put in place.

All homeowners evacuated over the last few days were allowed to return home by last night. Welfare officers are working with the homeowners who lost their house to the fire. The welfare centre in Havelock North was closed last night with people needing help asked to contact (06) 871 5000.

Craggy Range Rd and Lopez Lane remain closed to all but residents and firefighters. That situation is likely to stay in place for three days.

The other two main fires, at Colin White Rd (Te Hauke) and Ripia Stream in the Puketitiri area, are aslo contained but being closely monitored; a helicopter with monsoon bucket is working with ground crew at Ripia Stream and ground crews are working at Colin White Rd.

Mr Cameron said “rubberneckers” remained a significant concern as they were getting in the way of firefighting vehicles, particularly around the Waimarama fire.

Hastings District Council is today reinforcing the message that there is a Total Fire Ban. “People are still flouting the fire ban - two small garden rubbish fires were extinguished yesterday.

“The devastation that fires have caused in our area over the last few days should be warning enough that risks cannot be taken. Council will consider prosecuting people who light fires during this time,” Mr Cameron said.

The fire ban means no outdoor fires of any description are allowed including hangi, solid fuel barbecues and fireworks

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Craggy Range Road Update
1pm - 14 February 2017

Craggy Range Road and Lopez Lane will re-open to residents only at 6.30pm tonight, allowing residents to return home.

There will be a checkpoint on the road ensuring only residents get through.

The public is urged to respect this restriction and stay away from the fires to allow fire crews the room they need to do their job and ensure the safety of everyone.

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Hastings District Fire Update

12.15pm - 14 February 2017

Crews fighting a large fire in Waimarama Road are making good progress in containing the blaze.


A Civil Defence Emergency remains in place in the Hastings District after several fires burnt yesterday.


There is now a limited threat of the Waimarama Road fire spreading any further. The blaze has now been contained as a result of significant work from helicopters with monsoon buckets, bulldozers and fire crews working hard to reinforce the containment line. The fire is still burning and work continues to extinguish it, however fire crews say the blaze is now travelling very slowly and there is a reduced threat to local homes.


The team responding to the Hastings District fires is extremely grateful to the large number of people who are assisting with the firefighting efforts.


These include fire crews from Taranaki, Auckland, Tararua, Rotorua, Rangetiki and Whangarei and the Pumicelands Rural Fire Authority (Central North Island), fire crews from the Defence Force, the Department of Conservation, the Fire Protection Service and the NZ Fire Service
One house was lost in the fire yesterday.


Waimarama Road is open but Craggy Range Road (off Tukituki Road) and Lopez Lane remains closed, however this is being reviewed this afternoon, with plans being developed that may allow residents to return home later today. There are 37 people still out of their homes from Craggy Range Road.


Fires in Colin White Road, Ripia Stream, Te Hauke, and Endsleigh Road are contained but fire crews continue to monitor them and dealing with flare ups where required.


Eight helicopters are being used to help fight the fires.


A Welfare Centre is operating at Havelock North Function Centre for anyone needing assistance or information.


Hastings District Council Civil Defence staff are heading out to Waimarama and Ocean Beach this afternoon to check on the welfare of residents and provide information as needed.


Two generators are on hand as backup to the Waimarama water supply system.


Residents are asked to stay vigilant and keep an eye on Hastings District Council’s Facebook page, HB Emergency websites and/or your local radio station.


The public is being asked to stay away from the fires to allow fire crews the room to do their job and ensure the safety of everyone.


There have been substantial resources brought into the district to help with the fires, teams are coping well, and responding where required.

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Hastings District Fire Update
8.37am - 14 February 2017

A Civil Defence emergency remains in place in the Hastings District this morning as fire crews are out again fighting several fires around the Hastings District.

The main concern is the Waimarama Road fire, which continues to burn strongly and only 50% contained at this stage. There is 200 hectares of pine trees nearby and a firebreak has been bulldozed overnight in an attempt to stop it spreading into the trees. Since daylight helicopters using monsoon buckets have been continuing to fight the fire and prevent it spreading.

Waimarama Road is open but Craggy Range Road (off Tukituki Road) and Lopez Lane remains closed.

There are 37 people still out of their homes from Craggy Range Road.
Fires in Colin White Road, Ripia Stream, Te Hauke, and Endsleigh Road are contained but fire crews continue to monitor them and dealing with flare ups where required.
Eight helicopters are being used to help fight the fires.

The main concern to residents near the fire zone is an expected change in wind direction later today, which could fan smouldering embers and push the fire front in a new direction.
The Welfare Centre operating at Havelock North Function Centre will be open from 9am for anyone needing assistance or information.

Two generators are on hand as backup to the Waimarama water supply system.
Residents are asked to stay vigilant and keep an eye on Hastings District Council’s Facebook page, HB Emergency websites and/or your local radio station.

The public is being asked to stay away from the fires to allow fire crews the room to do their job and ensure the safety of everyone.

There have been substantial resources brought into the district to help with the fires and teams are coping well and responding where required.

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Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence staff assist with earthquake response
1.40pm 17 November 2016

Three Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management staff are in Wellington assiting with the response efforts after Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kaikoura.

The quake has cut off Kaikoura and severely affected a number of nearby outlying towns and settlements, as well as damaging buildings in Wellington.

The three staff members are working out of the National Crisis Management Centre under the Beehive, assisting with the national response to the quake. Another staff member will join them on Saturday.

Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group Controller Ian Macdonald says the experienced staff will help coordinate the national response to the emergency.

“More Hawke’s Bay staff are likely to join the response efforts next week, with some heading into the affected areas,” says Mr Macdonald.

“As the incident management teams on the ground need a break we will send more resources down to assist.”

Mr Macdonald says it’s important help, however it’s also important to retain enough staff here to deal with the impacts of any significant aftershocks on Hawke’s Bay.

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Hawke's Bay Tsunami threat lifted
1.18pm 14 November 2016

The potential threat to land from a tsunami coming ashore in Hawke's Bay has now lifted, after last night's significant Cheviot 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence & Emergency Management Group activated the region's Emergency Coordination Centre shortly after midnight last night, but deactivated late this morning. Operational staff of councils and support agencies continue to monitor conditions around the region, responding as required.

A Marine and Beach 'Warning' status remains, so people can still expect unusually strong currents and unpredictable water flows near the shore. This means a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities. The severity of currents and changing water flows will vary within a particular coastal area and over the period this warning is in effect. This warning will remain in effect until a cancellation message is issued by MCDEM. 

Updates can be found on the hbemergency facebook page, and at hbemergency.govt.nz.


Hawke's Bay has come through the large earthquake overnight undamaged.
9am, 14 November 2016

The 7.5 magnitude earthquake centred about half way between Kaikoura and Christchurch has caused widespread damage across the South Island and in Wellington.

The earthquake triggered a tsunami alert for the east coast of both islands.

In Hawke's Bay that lead to evacuations in small pockets of some of the coastal areas, including Waimarama, Ocean Beach, Te Awanga and Westshore.

The modelling showed that the wave would not be large and so a wider evacuation was not required.

"That means we made a conscious decision not use the sirens. To do so could have panicked a whole population for no good reason and the results could have been worse than the impact of the small wave predicted at that time. The areas were small and therefore we could door knock those people easily," said Hawke's Bay Civil Defence group controller Ian Macdonald.

"Having said that, we are very pleased at the number of people who self-evacuated. While in the end the threat did not eventuate this time, it is really pleasing to know that people know what to do.

"There may be a time when a local earthquake causes a tsunami so suddenly that we don't have time to warn anyone. People should not wait for a siren or a knock on the door: If you feel an earthquake that is 'long or strong, get gone' is the message."

The threat of a tsunami making landfall was gone by 5.45am, and the last of the evacuated residents advised that they could safely return home.

Mr Macdonald acknowledged that at times it seemed there were mixed messages, but that was "the nature of the beast" in that no two emergencies are the same and information changes as events unfold.

"Nature doesn't give us notice and doesn't tell us what sort of affect she's going to have.

"This was a very long rupture of about 100km long so it was impossible in a very short amount of time to say exactly what would happen along the length of our country.

"The best we can do is give people what we know, ask that they make some decisions on the best way to react, and then keep updating them as clearer information comes to hand."

As today progresses, he asked that people remain aware of any Civil Defence messaging, in case further earthquakes changed the situation.

 


Hohepa residents are Civil Defence stars
2 November 2016 - 2.25pm

Near 100 residents and staff at Hohepa in Clive put their evacuation practices into action when a “long and strong” earthquake was felt, and this week received a pat on the back, an award and a morning tea for their sterling efforts.


Resident Paul Stalker was awake and already dressed when the earthquake struck at 6am on September 2. When the call came from the wake-over staff to evacuate he was prepared. “It went great; we were ready.”


Margaret Douglas, also a resident, agreed that the evacuation went smoothly. She lives in Harris House which is home to seven older retired residents, some in wheelchairs. “It went exactly like we practiced.”

It is important that if a “long and strong” earthquake is felt that people do not wait for a warning to get out, said Hastings District Council emergency management officer Alan Daly. The risk is that an earthquake close to the coast will trigger a sudden tsunami and there will be no time to warn people before the wave hits. “If an earthquake is ‘long and strong; be gone’. The Hohepa reaction was our perfect scenario,” he said.


Andy White, general manager of Hohepa Hawke’s Bay which provides homes, education and work opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities, said the logistics of evacuating near 100 residents and staff from the Clive site could not be underestimated and regular practices are held.


Mr Daly and emergency management team leader Trevor Mitchell delivered the morning tea on Tuesday.

Mr Daly presented the award and congratulated the staff and residents, telling them that their evacuation was just what the emergency services recommended during such an event.


Mr White said he was very proud of the team, both staff and residents, for evacuating so quickly and seamlessly. “Some people in Napier stayed in their beds but I’m pleased to say you people were into our vans and ready to go; some in your pyjamas. You took notice, and that made the job of making sure everyone was safe that much easier.”


Once evacuated, staff advised Civil Defence staff that the facility was empty, so “they knew they didn’t have to worry about us”, Mr White said.


The presentation came in the lead up to World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5.


Mr Daly said it was the perfect time to think about what families should do if a tsunami is coming. People need to know that there may not always need be a warning. Earthquakes close to the East Coast could trigger a tsunami that will arrive on land before an alarm is sounded.


“It is imperative that people near the coast move inland or uphill as quickly as possible if they feel a strong earthquake that makes standing up difficult or a rolling earthquake that lasts longer than a minute; a sudden rise or fall in sea level; or loud or unusual noises from the sea.”

Door to door tsunami advice
To help get that message out, Civil Defence personnel have been knocking on doors in Hawke’s Bay’s seaside communities, handing out printed information and talking residents through the steps they need to take in an emergency.


In October they targeted Waimarama and Ocean Beach. “A tsunami generated just offshore and arriving in minutes poses the greatest immediate threat for these communities. It is important that people know and understand the natural warning signs and make their own decision to immediately go to high ground,” said Mr Mitchell.

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Hawke’s Bay schools urged to get prepared
7 October 2016 - 3.48pm

Hawke's Bay schools are being urged to take up the challenge and update their emergency preparedness plans during Get Ready Week (10-16 October)

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says this year’s theme is “Prepared Kids”.

“We know that when kids are involved in learning about natural hazards and preparing for emergencies, they encourage their families to be more prepared and often take a more active role in helping the family respond to and recover from emergencies,” says Mr Macdonald. “By involving kids the whole family is more resistant to the impacts of an emergency”.

He says as part of Get Ready Week 2016, Civil Defence nationwide is launching its redeveloped schools resource What’s the Plan Stan, and schools are being encouraged to use the new resource to build resilience as a life skill for their students.

Mr Macdonald says there’s also plenty that families can do at home to prepare for emergencies.

“It’s important families have a plan for emergencies and that children are involved in that process, so everyone knows what will happen. Things like who’s picking the children up from school if they are shut and what your evacuation plan is if you live in a tsunami or flood zone.”

He says it’s also important to talk to children about what they would do in various situations during an emergency, such as not being able to get home from school, having no power or phone, or if the shops were shut. While sometimes it is difficult to do this, there are plenty of resources now available to make these conversations less daunting and troubling for children.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nzor visit the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Facebook page.

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East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) & LAB launched

A major initiative aimed at improving the resilience of communities on the East Coast of the North Island to natural hazards associated with the plate boundary has been launched at the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier tonight.

East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) is a joint project aimed at fostering new research to increase the understanding of the Hikurangi plate boundary and associated natural hazards like earthquakes and tsunami. At the same time it encourages the public to become engaged in science so they understand the risks of living at the boundary.

It is a three pronged approach with the launch of the East Coast LAB project and the associated “Life at the Boundary” natural hazards education programme, along with the official opening of “The LAB” at the Aquarium.

The LAB at the aquarium is a newly developed interactive education space which will be used for school groups, research talks and functions, as well as open to the general public as part of general admission to the aquarium, It will include a tsunami wave tank demonstration, information on the latest earthquakes in New Zealand, the opportunity to practice a “Drop, Cover, Hold” drill, as well as to become part of some the science projects going on.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Advisor Hazard Reduction Lisa Pearse says the East Coast LAB project has been borne out of a desire to better understand the Hikurangi plate boundary and leverage off national and international scientific research.

“Through the East Coast LAB project we will see research ships from around the world visiting the Hikurangi plate boundary to study it and that research will be able to be presented at the newly developed LAB at the aquarium,” says Lisa Pearse.

She says the project brings together scientists, emergency managers, experts and stakeholders from across the East Coast and around the world.

“The overarching aim of East Coast LAB is to ensure people are aware of the hazards that affect them, know how to prepare and respond to natural hazard events, so after any event they can continue to thrive,” says Lisa Pearse.

National Aquarium of New Zealand Manager Rob Yarrall says the LAB is the perfect fit for the aquarium.

“With the aquarium situated right on the foreshore, along with our existing education programmes it just makes sense to house the LAB at the aquarium,” says Mr Yarrall.

“The LAB is a great opportunity for our local and international aquarium visitors to learn more about the plate boundary that runs off the east coast of the North Island.”

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Power-affected hill country farmers coping well
8 August 2016 – 4.15pm

A visit to the hill country north of Napier today has reassured the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group that people who have been without power since Saturday morning are coping well.

A team, including staff from the Hastings District Council, spent the day visiting hill country farms to assess the situation and what assistance may be required. There are around 400 properties in the Hawke’s Bay and Taupo Region who could be without power for at least a week.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Ian Macdonald says staff reported while there is a lot of snow around the affected people are well prepared for such an event, supporting each other and coping well.

He says if anyone in need of assistance should call the Hastings District Council on 06 871 5000. If they have power concerns they should contact 0800 2 UNISON (0800 286 476). Assistance and support is also available for farmers from the East Coast Rural Support Trust.

Mr Macdonald says some families have chosen to self-evacuate for the night, but generally people are staying put and staying warm.

He says Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group is aware people could be without power for at least a week and is putting plans in place for people who may need assistance in the coming days.

“Hawke’s Bay CDEM and Hastings District Council staff will be visiting the Puketitiri area tomorrow to see how farmers are coping with their stock in the heavy snowfall. We will return to the Napier Hill country later in the week to check on those without power,” says Mr Macdonald.

Road Update

State Highway 5 - Napier-Taupo Road will be closed until at least 10am tomorrow.
The Napier-Taihape Road will not be open until at least tomorrow morning.

For the latest road closure updates visit www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Facebook page.

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Civil Defence teams assess needs of those without power
8 August 2016 – 11am

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEM) has spent the morning in the hill country north of Napier assessing the needs of people who have been without power since Saturday morning.

A team, including staff from the Hastings District Council, has headed into the hill country first thing this morning and is expected to be able to report back later this afternoon.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Ian Macdonald says they are working with roading authorities, power and telecommunications companies to identify which areas are impacted and where assistance may be required.

He says staff are also liaising with the rural support networks to identify any specific issues.

“So far it appears those affected are coping well, however we are aware there are a number of dairy farms that have had no power since Friday and they are a priority. However access continues to be a challenge,” says Mr Macdonald.

State Highway 5 the Napier-Taupo Road remains closed and is unlikely to open before 3pm. The Napier Taihape Road is closed all day. State Highway 2 from Napier to Wairoa is open and State Highway 2 north of Gisborne is open but very icy. With forecast low temperatures, conditions are likely to worsen over night

“Anyone travelling on the roads needs to take extreme care,” says Mr Macdonald.

For the latest road closure updates visit www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Facebook page.

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Concerns for properties north of Napier without power
7 August 2016 - 6.30pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is sending staff into the hill country north of Napier tomorrow morning to assess the needs of people who have been without power since Saturday morning.

Unison says around 300 properties in the high country north of Napier are still without power and Hawke’s Bay CDEM is suggesting the affected people prepare for up to five days without power.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says anyone in urgent need of assistance should call 111. If they have concerns about power they should contact Unison on 0800 2 UNISON (0800 2 86476)

He says it is likely most residents in the area will be well-prepared for an event such as this, but if anyone needs assistance they should call the Hastings District Council after 8am tomorrow on 06 871 5000.

Mr Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group staff will visit a number of properties in the affected areas tomorrow to assess the situation. Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group will continue to monitor the situation in consultation with Unison.

“This will give us a good overview of how the affected people are coping and what assistance is required,” says Mr. Macdonald.

It is understood there is access to the majority of properties via four-wheel drive.

Meanwhile, the Hawke’s Bay CDEM group will be working with the Ministry of Primary Industries and East Coast Rural Support trust tomorrow morning to assess any animal welfare needs.

Roading Update

State Highway 5 – the Napier-Taupo Road will remain closed until at least tomorrow morning.

State Highway 2 – the Napier – Wairoa Road is open but extreme care is needed.

The Napier- Taihape is still closed.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Heavy rain and snow continue to hit Hawke’s Bay
6 August 2016 - 12.45pm

Hawke’s Bay people are being urged to restrict non-essential travel as the heavy rain and snow continues to hit the region.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is monitoring the situation.

Heavy snow has closed a number of roads around the region including State Highway 5 between Napier & Taupo and the Napier-Taihape Road. SH2 the Napier-Wairoa road is closed due to flooding at Tutira. SH50-Breakwater Road around Napier Port is closed because of a rockfall.

There have been widespread power outages across the region. Unison says it is progressively restoring power following a loss of supply from Transpower. Restoration has begun for Hastings, Napier, Clive and Havelock North. However, Unison says more power outages are likely due to snow-loading on transmission lines.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the power outages have caused problems for stormwater pumping stations in Napier and that situation is being closely monitored.

“We would urge people not to travel unless it is essential as there is a lot of surface flooding around the region,” says Mr Macdonald.

“The best advice is to wrap up warm and stay dry and check on any vulnerable family or friends to make sure they are okay.”

Mr MacDonald says while there has been a lot of rain and snow, there is not expected to be a lot of serious flooding.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Met Service has issued some significant rain and snow warnings for Hawke’s Bay from tonight through the weekend.

5 August 2016

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Ian Macdonald says the most significant impact is expected to be in Northern Hawke’s Bay, with 150 to 200 mm of rain forecast in coastal areas from this evening to early Sunday morning.

He says this is likely to lead to high river levels in smaller streams, however the Wairoa River is expected cope and may reach the ORANGE level on the bridge markings. There could be some surface flooding in some areas.

Meanwhile, the heaviest snow is expected about inland Hawke’s Bay and eastern Taihape, where 40-50cm of snow is expected above 400 metres, one metre or more snow drifts possible and snow down to 200 metres.

Mr Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group along together with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council are keeping a close eye on the weather and will be meeting later this afternoon to assess the situation.

He says farmers are encouraged to consider moving stock from low lying areas.

“People travelling over the weekend should keep up to date with the latest forecasts and be prepared for the weather conditions by ensuring they have warm clothing and spare food and water with them,’ says Mr Macdonald.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay Launches App for Disaster Alerts

29th July 2016

Hawke’s Bay residents can now receive official disaster alerts and lifesaving information on their smart phones, as Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay begins alerting through the Red Cross Hazard App.

Hazard App, developed by New Zealand Red Cross, is a free app that alerts users to hazards like wild weather and flooding, and tsunami. It also includes information about how to prepare for emergencies, what to do after a disaster has occurred and an ‘I am safe’ messaging function.

Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay officially begins alerting through the Red Cross Hazard App on Monday 1 August. The app is one of a number of tools that will be used for issuing public alerts.

Civil Defence Hawke’s Bay Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the app will also help people in the region be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

“When a disaster happens, it’s important people get the information they need to make it through safely. The Red Cross Hazard App is one of the many ways we have to alert people to emergencies and help them keep safe.”

Developed by the International Red Cross’ Global Disaster Preparedness Centre, the app has been used in several countries and during several recent disasters, including Hurricane Sandy in the United States.

New Zealand Red Cross brought the app to New Zealand, adapting the content to reflect New Zealand-specific hazards and emergency information.

ABOUT THE HAZARD APP

The Red Cross Hazard App helps Kiwis identity hazards, reduce risk and stay informed when they need it most. It alerts users to official emergency warnings and updates, and allows them to quickly inform loved ones that they are safe. Users can tailor their alerts so they only receive those relevant to their location.

The app is also preloaded with information about hazards including floods, earthquakes, and tsunami, fire, weather and biosecurity risks.

It guides users through preparing an emergency response kit and plan, what to do during an emergency and offers step by step information to help people recover after an emergency. This preloaded content means Kiwis have instant access to all information, even without cell phone reception or an internet connection.

It can be downloaded for free from Google Play store for Android devices or from the Apple app store for iOS devices.

More information about the app, including frequently asked questions, can be found at www.redcross.org.nz/hazard-app.

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A renewed focus for Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence

23 February 2016

Lessons learnt from the Canterbury earthquakes have led to a shift of focus for the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

The Group encompasses civil defence staff from throughout the region, working with and educating the Hawke’s Bay community about preparing for a civil defence emergency.

Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the Canterbury quakes highlighted the need for people to be prepared to look after themselves and their families for up to three days after a disaster hits.

“After reviewing the work underway in Hawke’s Bay and looking at the learnings from the Canterbury quakes it was felt more emphasis needed to be put on increasing the resilience of Hawke’s Bay communities in an emergency. It is clear that communities who work together to help each other coped best.” says Mr Macdonald.

As a result three new civil defence advisor positions have been created to concentrate on ensuring Hawke’s Bay communities are ready for a civil defence emergency. They join two existing staff in the group office who specialise in hazard identification and reduction, and managing the welfare of those affected by a civil defence emergency. There is also a team of emergency management officers across the region working with communities.

The three new staff in the group office are:
Jim Tetlow, who previously worked for the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group in training management. He will focus on improving the capability and skills of civil defence volunteers and the local government staff who operate local and regional emergency operations centres during an emergency event. Jim will also coordinate the review and development of initial response plans to Hawke’s Bays’ major hazards with the emergency services.

Teresa Simcox, who worked in the Wellington Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. She will work on developing Hawke’s Bay emergency response centres, including exploring new technologies and operating processes that can be used. Teresa will also work with key agencies responsible for essential services such as power, telecommunications, roads and water to coordinate increased resilience and response in re-establishing these services.

Jae Sutherland has worked on a number of community projects across Hawke’s Bay and will work with local councils and emergency management officers to develop community-led response plans and education.

Mr Macdonald says the aim is to work closely with local communities to help them understand the risks they face and what to do about it.

“A key goal is to provide more targeted education aimed at changing behaviours and empowering people to be more responsible for themselves and their families.”

Ian Macdonald says over the next few years there will be a particular focus on helping coastal communities plan their immediate response to a tsunami threat.

He says more work will also be done on improving coordination between agencies during an emergency. These include the emergency services, organisations responsible for the welfare of affected people and providers of vital infrastructure.

“This will result in reduced impacts on people and a faster recovery by the community from emergency events such as earthquakes and floods.”

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook and ‘Like our page.


Motorists urged to take car on roads as heavy rain fall

28 January 2016 10.00am

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management Media Release

Hawke’s Bay motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads and drive to the conditions as steady rain continues to fall in Mahia/Kopuawhara and north to Gisborne.

The Met Service says the storm will track south and bring strong southerly winds and short bursts of very heavy rain across Wairoa District throughout the day and possibly into the evening.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says while they don’t expect any major river flooding, smaller streams are likely to rise rapidly and cause surface flooding and slips, as seen in Napier yesterday.

“The wind may also be an issue, with gusty southerlies creating hazardous conditions and potentially blowing trees and branches onto roads. As we have had no rain for some time, roads may also be slippery with a build-up of oil and grease. If heading towards Wairoa or Gisborne people should consider delaying travel until Friday unless it is essential,” says Mr Macdonald.

“Don’t drive through flood waters, and keep up to date with weather forecasts throughout the day.”


East Coast LAB website launched

1st December 2.50pm

A website has been launched today for an initiative aimed at improving the resilience of communities on the East Coast of the North Island to natural hazards associated with the plate boundary.

East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) is a joint project aimed at fostering new research to increase the understanding of the plate boundary and associated natural hazards at the same time as encouraging the public to become engaged in science so they understand the risks of living at the boundary.

Today’s launch of the East Coast LAB website( www.eastcoastlab.org.nz) is the first step towards introducing the project to the public. It’ll provide information on the initiative, which will be officially launched later next year.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Coordinator Lisa Pearce says the project brings together scientists, emergency managers, experts and stakeholders from across the East Coast and around the world.

“East Coast LAB aims to ensure people are aware of the hazards that affect them, know how to prepare and respond to natural hazard events, so after any event they can continue to thrive,” says Lisa Pearce.

Visit East Coast LAB at www.eastcoastlab.org.nz

 


National recognition for early childhood resource

23 November 2015

National recognition for a creative Hawke’s Bay early childhood programme.

The Me Noho Takatū project has won the local government category of Ngā Tohu Reo Māori – The National Māori Language Awards.

Me Noho Takatū meaning 'Be Prepared' was developed by a Hawke's Bay collaborative working group providing bilingual resources for Hawke's Bay Kōhanga Reo and Early Childhood Education kaiako/teachers, whānau and children, to support their knowledge of planning for local civil defence emergencies.

A series of workshops were held throughout Hawke’s Bay with early childhood and kōhanga reo teachers and a range of practical and easy to follow resources were developed. The resources include a bilingual book (Te Hīkoi a Rūaumoko/Rūaumoko’s Walk) based on Kahungunu legends and dialect telling the story of what to do in an earthquake with a subsequent tsunami threat. A one page emergency plan template was also developed along with a teachers’ pack with teaching and learning ideas and bilingual child-friendly emergency planning resources to distribute to whanau/families.

The collaborative working group included representatives from the Hawke’s Bay offices of Civil Defence, the Ministry of Education, the Kōhanga Reo Trust, Te Puni Kōkiri, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, and Te ūranga Waka at the Eastern Institute of Technology.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the project has been a huge success, with many other regions looking to develop a similar resource.

“After the workshops teachers were motivated to update their service’s emergency plans, engage with the local civil defence office and distribute the resources to the whānau from their centres,” says Mr Macdonald.

Project coordinator Jae Sutherland says it is fantastic that all the hard work of the project team has been recognised.

“Credit goes to the Me Noho Takatū Project Team, a generous and talented group of local individuals and organisations, who gave their time, expertise and aroha to make beautiful resources for our tamariki and our mokopuna” says Jae Sutherland.

The project was largely funded from the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Resilience Fund, which aims to enhance resilience to civil defence emergencies through the development of local and regional civil defence emergency management capability.

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Major Civil Defence exercise this week in Hawke’s Bay

9th November 2015 - 10am

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management will be put to the test later this week with a full scale civil defence exercise being held in the region.

More than 250 people will take part in the exercise from a range of organisations including local councils, police, fire and district health board, along with other government and non-government organisations and neighbouring regional civil defence groups.

Exercise Te Matua-a-Maui is based on a magnitude seven earthquake hitting the region. The main operations will be based at the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Headquarters in Hastings, with further operation centres in Wairoa, Napier and Waipawa.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the main aim of the exercise is to practise the group’s response to a significant earthquake event.

“A large earthquake is seen as the biggest threat to Hawke’s Bay. This exercise will allow us to develop staff, identify areas that need improvement and provide information to review our existing earthquake plans,” says Mr Macdonald.


More than 48,600 take part in today’s national earthquake drill

15th October 2015 - 12pm

More than 48,600 Hawke’s Bay people took part in ShakeOut NZ – our national earthquake drill at 9.15 this morning.

Nationally more than 1.3 million people did the “Drop Cover and Hold” earthquake drill.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says he was pleased with the number of Hawke’s Bay people who took part, especially the large number of schools.

“We had more than 31,000 school children taking part, along with over five thousand pre-schoolers,” says Mr Macdonald.

Breaking down the figures throughout the region, Hastings District had 36,574 registered, while Napier had 18,614. Central Hawke’s Bay had 4,763 people taking part in the drill, while 1,457 were registered in Wairoa.

Ian Macdonald says ShakeOut is the perfect opportunity for families, schools, businesses and individuals to practise what they need to do in an earthquake.

At the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff completed the drill and then undertook a full tsunami evacuation.

Mr Macdonald says anybody living or working along the coast during a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more, should move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as possible.

“While the bulk of staff walked to higher ground at Tiffen Park behind the Napier Municipal Theatre, others chose to do a vertical evacuation and went up to the second floor of the Council’s Dalton Street building, which has been assessed as a safe alternative option for tsunami evacuation.”

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook and ‘Like our page.


Hawke’s Bay coping well with heavy consistent rain

24 September 2015 - 10.40am

Hawke’s Bay is coping well with the heavy rain and river levels are expected to start to recede throughout the day.

The Met Service indicates the rain will continue to fall until later tonight, but it won’t be as heavy as it has been in the last 24 hours.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Liz Lambert says the region’s major rivers will hold steady for a short while then start falling below warning levels early this afternoon.
She says the Tukituki River at Shag Rock has levelled off just above the five year level, while the Tukituki at Red Bridge will probably peak just under the five year level. This will probably occur before midday.

“These sorts of flows mean there will have been water up on berms of most rivers, and possibly shifted any debris that has been laying around waiting for a free ride downstream,” says Mrs Lambert.

She warns this can result in dangerous water conditions, with the debris usually getting trapped at bridges or culverts. This can cause flooding upstream if the water can’t pass the structure easily.

“Care should be taken around all the major rivers and tributaries, and it is likely the worst of the flooding is over, and we shall see the rivers slowly recede during the day.” If people are traveling they should drive to the conditions and keep up to date with weather forecasts before they leave home.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.


More heavy rain expected in Hawke’s Bay

23 September 2015 - 12pm

Hawke’s Bay people are being warned of more heavy rain on the way.

The Met Service has issued a heavy rain warning from this afternoon until tomorrow night.
The rainfall totals are expected to be less than five yearly averages, but Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Liz Lambert says this amount of rain on saturated ground quickly runs off and can cause rivers to rise rapidly.

“Surface flooding is likely on some roads, with possible slips where unstable ground has become saturated,” says Mrs Lambert.

She says while there are no real concerns at this stage, the main rivers (Tukituki, Waipawa, Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri, Wairoa) are likely to rise to the annual levels, probably sometime tomorrow. These levels generally do not cause any significant issues, however, river users are being urged to be aware of the normal dangers associated with higher river levels. Smaller tributaries should also be avoided if possible, as they respond much quicker to short bursts of intense rain, and can be dangerous.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.


Wairoa Rainfall and River Levels

21 September 2015

After the steady rain through Sunday and Monday morning, the flows at many Wairoa rivers and streams are steady or rising more slowly.
Wairoa River rose steadily in the early hours of Monday morning and will continue to rise slowly up about another 500mm during the day on Monday. High tide was due at 11 am Monday morning and river levels near the Wairoa mouth should drop from around noon. An easing sea swell should help the river levels to drop. The Wairoa River mouth is open.
Wairoa Civil Defence Emergency Management says that there was river debris on Kopu Road and surface flooding on many roads and in Wairoa township.
Wairoa CDEM staff continue to monitor the situation and ask that people take care on roads and watch for roadside slips.
Over 24 hours the rainfall was around 180mm in places, while in some places half of that. The rain is expected to ease off later today.
The forecast for the sea swell along HB coast is not causing concern. Although it is a sizable swell it is not unusual for this coastline. The swell should peak around noon today which coincides with a high tide but does not have enough energy to breach barrier beaches.
The swell forecast for Wednesday is for a longer swell (compared to the peaky one of today) which should only reach heights of around 60% of today’s seas.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.


National Tsunami Warning cancelled by vigilance still required

18 September 2015 - 2.40pm

The threat to Hawke’s Bay from a tsunami triggered after an earthquake in Chile yesterday has now largely passed but locals are being urged to remain vigilant around coastal areas and river mouths.

The Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management has cancelled the National Tsunami Warning issued yesterday after the 8.3 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami in Chile.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Group Controller Liz Lambert says while the threat has largely passed, some unusual water conditions, such as local tidal surges and strong currents will continue for the next 24-36 hours.

“We are advising people to be very cautious, as the unusual water conditions may affect swimming, small boats, whitebaiting and other water activities,” says Mrs Lambert

She says the recent readings from the Napier Port buoy show a decreasing amount of surging, and it’s coming in to low tide.

“While a few rogue waves may be possible, we don’t expect there to be anything serious.”
Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence has been impressed with the sensible approach people have taken to the event so far.

Further updates will be issued as appropriate. People can also check www.hbemergency.govt.nz or the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Facebook Page for the latest updates.

 


Hawke’s Bay people warned to stay away from the coast

18th September 2015, 10.30am

Hawke’s Bay people are being warned to continue to stay away from beaches and shore areas as a tsunami warning remains in place for the East Coast of New Zealand.

An 8.3 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Chile yesterday has led to wave surges in coastal areas of Hawke’s Bay.

The Napier port buoy has had continuing surges since early morning from 1.06 m to 1.63 m (a rise of 0.57 m) over 15 minute periods.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Group Controller Liz Lambert says this means there are unusually strong currents and unpredictable surges, particularly around river mouths and estuaries.

“This unusual tidal action is expected to continue for the next 48 hours and even though the national warning is likely to be cancelled later today we are warning people to stay out of the water, and off beaches and shore areas until Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence advises otherwise.

Mrs Lambert says while the height of the tsunami waves will not be high, unusual and strong currents present a risk to people in or near the water at river mouths, marinas, jetties, around rocks or underwater landforms. Whitebaiters and divers are likely to be the most at risk people in our community.

“After the 2011 Japan tsunami the largest waves were 40 hours after it initially hit our coastline, so people need to continue to take extreme care. We are delighted with the sensible approach being taken by people to this event so far.”

Further updates will be issued as appropriate, however people can check www.hbemergency.govt.nz or the HB Emergency Facebook page for the latest updates.
 


Tsunami Warning for Hawke’s Bay

17 September 2015; 1.40pm

A tsunami warning was issued midday Thursday for Hawke’s Bay and the East Coast which will affect coastal areas.

The warning follows a magnitude 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Santiago, Chile at 10.54am NZ time today, and confirmation from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Strong currents and unusual tidal action is expected over the coming days. A ‘wall of water’ is not expected but the tsunami effect could be a turbulent 20 to 30 centimetres. The first wave of many is expected after 1am on Friday morning, 18th September and will likely carry on throughout the day.

While the height of the tsunami waves will not be high, unusual and strong currents present a risk to people in or near the water at river mouths, marinas, jetties, around rocks or underwater landforms. Whitebaiters and divers are likely to be the most at risk people in our community.

As is usual with a tsunami warming, people are advised to stay away from the coast, or take extreme care over the coming 48 hours.

Inner harbour boaties may care to check moorings and take any other necessary precautions. The Harbourmaster and Napier Port operators have been briefed.

Updates will be issued as appropriate, however people can check hbemergency.govt.nz or the hbemergency Facebook page for the latest updates.



Official Tsunami evacuation zone maps released for Hawke’s Bay

3rd September

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management has released official tsunami evacuation zone maps for the Hawke’s Bay’s coastline.

The maps show evacuation boundaries based on a variety of hazard models which aim to include all possible flooding from all known tsunami sources, including ‘worst case’ rare scenarios for Hawke’s Bay for tsunami coming from both a very large local earthquake or from across the Pacific Ocean.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager, Ian Macdonald says the maps build on information released in 2011, with the aim of ensuring the Hawke’s Bay community is well informed as to where the risk is and knows what to do.

“The main message is that after a long or strong quake, lasting more than a minute or one that makes it hard to stand, people should ‘self-evacuate’ from all zones immediately, to nearby higher ground or inland.  Don’t wait for sirens,” says Mr Macdonald.

He says Civil Defence emergency management officers throughout Hawke’s Bay will be working with local communities to develop community response plans and clear evacuation routes for residents.

The tsunami evacuation maps show red, orange and yellow zones, which need to be evacuated in different events, while all zones need to be evacuated in a major event.

“The maps are available online and we’re encouraging residents to check them out and see how at risk they are where they live, work and play.  Make your own emergency plan so everyone knows what to do and where to meet” he says.

The maps are available at the new Hawke’s Bay hazard information portal at http://www.hbemergency.govt.nz/hazards/portal

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

 


 

Hawke’s Bay Liquefaction risks review expected later this year
8 July 2015

A major review of liquefaction risks for Hawke’s Bay is expected to be publically released later this year.

The joint project is looking at how susceptible Hawke’s Bay is to liquefaction, which is the process of loose soil acting like a liquid or quicksand during a severe earthquake. It was a significant feature of the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The results are expected to enable improvements to present liquefaction susceptibility maps for the region, including developing options to improve Hawke’s Bay’s resiliency to liquefaction during future earthquakes.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is coordinating the project, with funding from the Natural Hazards Research Platform, the Earthquake Commission, GNS Science, and the region’s five councils.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says it was hoped the review would be released early in 2015, but the project has been delayed by a few months.

“The main reason for the delay is the difficulties collecting data and the complexity of the modelling work. We want to make sure this information is as accurate as possible, so it’s important we don’t rush it,” says Mr Macdonald.

He says the plan now is to publically release the review findings in October.

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Pat on the Back for Hawke's Bay Civil Defence volunteers
25 June 2015

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management is making the most of National Volunteers Week and giving its volunteers a pat on the back.

There are about 200 civil defence volunteers throughout Hawke’s Bay who assist with civil defence activities and during emergencies.  They undertake everything from helping set up and staff Civil Defence Centres to visiting impacted people to assess their needs. They are often helped during an emergency by other volunteers from Rural Fire and the Red Cross.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the volunteers fill a vital role being part of the community and ready and able to response to an emergency event.

“The role of civil defence volunteers is vital in supporting the efforts of the emergency services and councils in responding to an emergency in Hawke’s Bay,” says Mr Macdonald.

“Many of them put in a lot of their own time to train and practice for an emergency.”

Napier Civil Defence Volunteer Sarah Grant says after experiencing the Christchurch earthquakes she was keen to take control and get involved in Civil Defence.

“I enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunity to upskill and learn more,” says Sarah.

Another Napier Civil Defence volunteer Olivia Grant agrees.

“I enjoy getting to know the other volunteers and learning new things,” says Olivia.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook and ‘Like our page.

 

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Cyclone Pam Update
17 March 2015 - 8.50pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group says the main area of concern from Cyclone Pam in the region being the high tides for Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton has largely passed.

High tide at 3 o’clock this afternoon resulted in some minor flooding from large seas overtopping the coastal berms between Haumoana and Clifton. However there were only minor issues as a result.

Hastings Civil Defence Emergency Management staff and volunteers, assisted by the NZ Fire Service and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff were on the ground ready to respond when required.

A portable pump has been deployed by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to the mouth of the Tukituki River to reduce the water level in the Haumoana estuary.

Additional pumps were reported to be coping and reducing the risk.

The latest forecast and conditions indicate that there should be no further issues from the remnants of Cyclone Pam for Hawke’s Bay. However Hastings Civil Defence Emergency Management staff will continue to monitor the next high tide at the Cape Coast due at 4 o’clock tomorrow morning.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Early morning high tide causes problems in Hawke’s Bay
17 March 2015 - 10am

The early morning high tide caused a number of problems in Hawke’s Bay as Cyclone Pam continued to make its presence felt in the region.

Situation:

  • High tide at 3am this morning caused a number of problems from Clifton to Clive (south of Napier) with large seas overtopping the coastal berm damaging and flooding properties.
  • The NZ Fire Service, including Cyclone Pam Task Force trucks from Wellington, assisted Hastings District Council Civil Defence staff and volunteers to respond where required.

Impacts:

  • There was extensive damage to the road into Clifton Motor Camp with some flooding.
  • There is some property damage along Clifton Road at Haumoana with the Fire Service helping with flooding in some properties.
  • At 5am Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management became aware that the pumps at the Haumoana estuary at the mouth of the Tukituki River were struggling to cope with the water flowing from the overtopped foreshore berm.
  • Large seas also overtopped the bund at Waimarama Domain flooding the surf club.
  • There is also debris on the roads by the boat ramp and Tiakitia Road.
  • Some surface flooding at the Westshore Domain from the overtopped foreshore berm.
  • All immediate risks have passed and all people are safe.

Actions:

  • Occupants of the Clifton Camps (most of them permanent residents) were moved to high ground as a precaution over the high tide period. Some occupants of the Te Awanaga Motor Camp were also moved to higher ground.
  • HBRC staff have installed an additional pump and are managing the surface water at the Haumoana estuary.
  • NZ Fire Service assisted in pumping out the bottom story of a dwelling in Haumoana.
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management staff and volunteers continued to maintain contact with local residents overnight.

Future Intentions:

  • Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Hastings District Council Emergency Management staff will monitor high tide at 3.24 this afternoon.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.
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Cyclone Pam Update
16 March 2015 - 6.20pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group says it will have people on the ground in Haumoana and Te Awanga at high tide early tomorrow morning as a precaution with heavy swells predicted again from Cyclone Pam.

This afternoon’s high tide passed without any significant impact and the forecast heavy rain and severe winds have not eventuated yet.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says the weather may worsen overnight, but it appears the region has escaped the severe weather.

He says rivers in the region are coping well.

Mr Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management will keep people up to date through its website and Facebook Page.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Heavy seas biggest concern for Hawke’s Bay
16 March 2015 - 10.15am

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management says heavy seas are the biggest concern for the region at this stage.

The region did not receive as much rain as predicted overnight and the winds have not been as strong as forecast so far.

However, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager says it is important people still prepare for severe weather and keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts as this could change as the cyclone moves down the coast. 

He says the main concern for Hawke’s Bay at this stage is the predicted heavy swells with the high tide later this afternoon.

“Predictions are of 5-6 metre waves. We have visited local communities who may be affected and we will be keeping an eye on our beaches, in particular, Haumoana, Te Awanga, Waimarama and Ocean Beach,” says Mr Macdonald.

High tide is around 2:30pm this afternoon so Civil Defence Emergency Management and emergency services staff will be on the ground keeping a close watch on the situation.

Meanwhile the Port of Napier has been closed until at least tomorrow. 

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter. 

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Cyclone Pam continues to make its way South
15 March 2015 - 12.05pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management is preparing for severe weather as Cyclone Pam continues to make its way towards New Zealand and in particular off the East Coast of the North Island.

The latest reports from the Met Service are for severe southeast winds and heavy rain in Wairoa from this evening. The sea swell warning remains for the whole of Hawke’s Bay, with predictions of six metre waves until at least Wednesday.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald is urging people to stay away from the beach.

He says New Zealand is not in the direct path of the cyclone but is still expected to experience severe weather.

Strong winds and heavy rain is also expected in the south of the region starting from tonight through toTuesday evening.

Mr Macdonald says with the levels of rainfall predicted we expect the rivers to be able to cope.

“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, and in the meantime would encourage Hawke’s Bay people to get prepared for the possibility of strong winds, rain and heavy swells,” says Mr Macdonald.

He says people should also prepare for possible periods without power.

“It’s important have torches and plenty of batteries, candles and an alternative cooking source.”

Mr Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management will keep people up to date through its website and Facebook Page.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visitwww.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hawke’s Bay people urged to prepare for Cyclone Pam
13 March 2015 - 1.44pm

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management urges Hawke’s Bay people to get prepared for the possibility of strong winds and heavy swells in coastal parts of the region.

The Met Service has issued a severe weather watch for Gisborne and Northern Hawke’s Bay with rain expected to become heavy from early Monday morning, especially about the ranges. It’s also warning of severe gales in Gisborne.

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager, Ian Macdonald says they are closely monitoring the situation and preparing for the strong possibility of heavy swells and strong winds in coastal Hawke’s Bay.

He says the latest reports show the storm passing just to the east of East Cape during Monday. However there is still a lot of uncertainty around the exact path of the cyclone and although the centre may not pass over New Zealand, severe weather is likely to affect parts of the country - especially the northeast of the North Island.

He’s urging Hawke’s Bay people to use their weekend wisely and get prepared for potential bad weather.

“People need to make sure their family emergency plans are up to date, with their properties prepared for strong winds, and a getaway kit all ready – just in case.”

Mr Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management will keep people up to date through its website and Facebook Page.

For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Civil Defence website now easier to use
22 December 2014, 12.12pm

Hawke’s Bay’s civil defence website is now easier for local people to use before and during a civil defence emergency.

An upgrade to www.hbemergency.govt.nz puts all civil defence emergency info for Hawke’s Bay in one place, whereas before every council has kept its own ‘civil defence’ pages for using during an emergency.

“During the holiday break, I recommend everyone with internet access takes a quick look at the new website and is familiar with it so when an emergency occurs in Hawke’s Bay, they can get the info they need quickly,” says Ian Macdonald, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller.

Mr Macdonald says the redesigned website acts as a portal which all Hawke’s Bay councils now have access to use so that staff can keep up the flow of new information. Individual council websites will take people to this one for emergency enquiries.

“All the councils have agreed to this system which is simpler for them and will make it much easier for their residents to get important information for their specific area and the wider region.”

The site now highlights the status of any emergency in the region and includes sections for updates, road, power and phone status, weather and river conditions, which civil defence centres are open, health requirements and school closures.

Residents can also find out about the hazard risks in their own area, as the hazards database is a part of the new site.

The HBCDEM website also makes smart use of nationally agreed information on emergency preparation from the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management.

“Hawke’s Bay people now get the same, consistent and reliable information as all other parts of New Zealand about preparing for an emergency. I would encourage people to use the website during the holidays to check that they are nicely sorted whether travelling or staying at home.”

For more information on getting ready to get through a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or follow Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.

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Get Ready Week – Natural Warning Signs
18 September 2014, 12.35pm

 What would you do if a long or strong earthquake hit Hawke’s Bay right now?

 During Get Ready Week [21-27 September] Hawke’s Bay people are urged to spend some time getting to know the natural warning signs of a tsunami following a large earthquake. Get Ready Week is a good opportunity to plan safe evacuation routes to higher ground or inland.

 Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager, Ian Macdonald says Hawke’s Bay’s location on the Pacific Ocean and at the edge of two tectonic plates means there are risks of tsunami from local, regional and distant sources.

“It is recognised the East Coast of New Zealand has the highest tsunami risk in the country, so we need to be sure what to do after a long or strong earthquake when there may be a subsequent local source tsunami,” says Mr Macdonald.

 Mr Macdonald explains that knowing the natural warning signs can be key to saving lives. These are:

  • Feeling a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • Seeing a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • Hearing loud and unusual noises from the sea.

“If people are in a coastal area when they feel, see or hear any of these warnings, they need to move immediately to the nearest higher ground, or as far inland as possible and stay there.”

The Pacific Ocean has a history of generating damaging tsunami. Recently, large earthquakes in Chile (2010) Samoa (2009) and Tonga (2009) produced distant source tsunami which hit the east coast.

“Warnings of these distant-source tsunami come through the Ministry of Civil Defence and we have time to alert people if they need to get away from the coast. However if a tsunami starts close to shore, there will be no official warning because there is just no time. The only warning will be the earthquake itself.”

There are numerous active faults and folds off Hawke’s Bay that could produce earthquakes large enough to generate ‘near-source’ tsunami. Just 90 kilometres away is a deep undersea trench called the Hikurangi Trough, which is the line where the Pacific Plate slides under the Australia Plate. Earthquakes or landslides in this zone can displace huge amounts of energy and water which produce tsunami.


Schools ‘Get Ready’ with Shortest Ever Disaster Movies
18 September 2014, 12.30pm

 The finalists in this year’s ‘Shortest Ever Disaster Movie’ competition run by Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence and Emergency Management have been selected.

 The Shortest Ever Disaster Movie competition is part of Get Ready Week 21-27 September.

 The competition encourages school students to use visual media to get a message across about the actions people need to take to be safe in a disaster.

 There were 18 entries, 14 of which came from Central Hawke’s Bay schools.

“All the entries received showed good evidence of what to do in an emergency, which was the theme of this year’s competition,” says CDEM Group Controller Ian Macdonald.

 Students needed to research a disaster topic and learn about the correct civil defence advice on what people should do in that disaster.

 This year the topics the students chose were earthquakes, volcanic eruption, wild fires and flooding.

 The finalists are:
 Tamatea Intermediate – “A lesson in Earthquake Action”
Omakere School – “Taking us Higher” (about flooding)
 Takapau School – “Earthquake Movie 2014”.

An overall winner will be announced at a prize-giving presentation next month.

 The finalists’ videos are viewable on www.hbemergency.govt.nz and YouTube.

“Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group team thanks all the schools, students, parents and helpers for taking part in this competition and we’re pleased to see the enthusiasm for learning more about how to be safe in disasters,” says Mr Macdonald.

 For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.


Hawke’s Bay wide Civil Defence Plan helps region to be more prepared
7 July 2014, 11.00am

A new region-wide emergency management plan has been developed to help the Hawke’s Bay community be more prepared for a civil defence emergency.
 The Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Plan has been developed over the last 18 months. It replaces the previous plan and takes a more region-wide approach to preparedness.

 Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Joint Committee Chairman Fenton Wilson says the plan covers the entire region from the Wairoa district to Central Hawke’s Bay and focuses on a more coordinated approach to planning for a civil defence emergency.

“The Group Plan has been primarily written to guide and inform those involved in civil defence planning in the region; however it also gives the public a good view of how hazards and risks in the region will be managed,” says Mr Wilson.
“We encourage people to find out more about the main hazards in the region and what they and their communities can do to prepare.”

The plan was developed with the help of Hawke’s Bay’s five councils, emergency services, central government and non-government partners, such as Red Cross.
 Mr Wilson says the new plan incorporates lessons learnt from recent disasters, such as the Canterbury earthquakes and a 2010 review of Hawke’s Bay’s civil defence capability.

“The plan seeks to achieve a more resilient Hawke’s Bay through comprehensive emergency management that covers reducing the risk from hazards, community readiness for events, its response to a disaster and recovery from the impacts of a disaster.”
The plan is available at www.hbemergency.govt.nz .


Hawke’s Bay eases into Wet Week  
11 June 2014, 4.00pm  

Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group is coordinating with Hawkes’ Bay Regional Council on the likely impact of up to 300 ml of rain that may fall in the region by Friday.  

 People in Hawke’s Bay should be aware of rising and variable river levels, particularly in low-lying areas with river access, such as Clive.  River access at Pakowhai Road’s Chesterhope Bridge has been closed for safety reasons.  

 Operational teams expect an ‘annual scale’ rainfall event that will likely see full river channels and only minor impact on the urban pumping network.  

 HBRC Incident Controller Darren Gorst is using this level of rainfall to perform a test of operational systems.  He is pleased that flood control and drainage contractors and land-leasees have already checked the readiness of the network and moved any stock that could be affected.  

“There is the possibility of localised flooding if we get a burst of heavy rain,” says Mr Gorst, “so to be safe our operational and pump maintenance teams will remain on call overnight.  This scale of annual event should not present too many problems.”  

The easterly wind conditions and associated swell may close river mouths and create some concern for seaside residents, however HBRC, CDEM Group and Council staff will continue to monitor the weather conditions.

 
Hawke's Bay people urged to be prepared in wake of quakes and tsunami in Chile2 April 2014 4.40pm

 The spate of earthquakes earlier this week and the tsunami in Chile today is a timely reminder to Hawke’s Bay people to be prepared for an emergency.

 New Zealand’s Tsunami Experts Panel says there is minimal threat posed to New Zealand by today’s 8.2 magnitude quake in Northern Chile. Only minimal tsunami waves (tens of centimetres) are expected to reach New Zealand shores around 2.30 tomorrow morning, which coincides with low tide.

 Hawke’s Bay people are reminded they need to be prepared to look after themselves for three days when an emergency occurs.

 Meanwhile, Napier Civil Defence Emergency Management will conduct its twice yearly public alert test on Sunday, 6 April. Sixteen sirens located around the city will sound at 12-noon (turn on and off) for approximately five minutes. The public alert test is a great reminder to replenish emergency survival kits, change stored water and check smoke alarm batteries.

 For more information on getting ready to get thru a civil defence emergency visit www.hbemergency.govt.nz or visit Hawke’s Bay Emergency on Facebook or Twitter.


Storm Warning Update for Hawke’s Bay
14 March 2014 10.53am

 Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management has been monitoring the forecasts for Cyclone Lusi and the likely impacts for Hawke’s Bay are becoming clearer.

 As the predicted track of Lusi has moved more to the west of the North Island, the potential swell for the Hawke’s Bay coast line has reduced to 2-5 metres.
 Hawke’s Bay CDEM Group manager, Ian Macdonald says the size and nature of the swell this weekend means that people should still keep away from Hawke’s Bay beaches, however no serious wave damage is expected.

“Vulnerable coastal communities should still remain vigilant and prepared. Our focus is now on the wind and rain which will cause river systems to rise so people in upper catchment areas and the ranges need to be careful around rivers and creeks. There is also a likelihood of some surface flooding and slips around the region.”

The worst of the weather for Hawke’s Bay is expected over Saturday night and Sunday morning with a short period of heavy rain and wind.
“People still need to keep up to date with the latest weather forecast and be careful travelling over the weekend. Being a cyclone, the forecasted track of the weather system can change at short notice. Civil Defence will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend and are prepared to respond if necessary. If people are worried about their safety over the weekend they should call 111,” says Mr Macdonald.


Cyclone Lusi could impact on Hawke’s Bay
21 March 2014 5.17pm

Tropical Cyclone Lusi is forecast to impact on the upper North Island over this weekend. Based on current information Lusi is expected to arrive over northern New Zealand on Saturday or early Sunday, and then to track southwards over central New Zealand before moving out to sea east of the South Island on Monday. Based on current information the impacts on Hawke’s Bay are likely to be heavy swells rather than very high levels of wind and rain. This may change as the forecast firms up over the next few days.

 Most likely scenario for Hawke’s Bay at the moment are large swells impacting on east and north facing coastlines and some periods of heavy rain. In particular the swells are expected to impact on the eastern coast of Mahia Peninsular, Bay View to Westshore beaches, Napier City beaches, Haumoana to Clifton and all coastal communities south of Cape Kidnappers. Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says “Civil Defence has started implementing its notification systems for coastal communities likely to be affected. We will be monitoring the situation as it develops and if necessary implementing emergency contingency plans.”

 “People living in coastal areas should keep up to date with official weather warnings and forecasts from MetService in the coming days. People should be cautious if they are going to be in coastal areas this weekend. It would not be a good weekend to be boating in Hawke Bay.”

Mr Macdonald said “We are encouraging people living in coastal areas to check their emergency plans and emergency survival items and getaway kit.” Detailed advice about what to do before, during and after a storm is at www.getthru.govt.nz.

 Updates during an emergency can be found at www.hbemergency.govt.nz and on Facebook facebook.com/hbemergency.