It’s just a practice: Tsunami sirens will be tested today in the Auckland region

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People on the waterfront in Rodney and Waitakere are expected to hear updated tsunami sirens at noon today. Picture/file

People on the waterfront in Waitakere and Rodney are expected to hear tsunami warning sirens and voice prompts today as emergency alerts are tested.

The tsunami sirens – which will sound at noon today Sunday September 25 – have been recently updated and now include five audible “boos” and voice prompts telling people what to do.

The New Zealand Civil Defense said the Auckland region has a network that kicks in when there is a threat of a tsunami.

The team tested the network twice a year at the DST change and said the clock change also served as a reminder to test their smoke detectors.

Civil Defense said there are also other ways to warn the community of a tsunami threat, including official warnings through Emergency Mobile Alert (EMA), radio, television or social media.

Areas in the test area include Omaha, Point Wells, Whangateau, Waiwera, Ōrewa in Rodney and Te Henga/Bethells Beach, Piha, Karekare, Huia, Little Huia, Whatipu, Te Atatū and Herald Island.

WHAT DOES THE MERMAID LOOK LIKE?

Tsunami sirens have been updated and will be a combination of alert sounds and voice instructions on what to do.

The voice message is deliberately recorded slowly to compensate for the reverberations and echoes that occur when using large PA systems in a large open space.

New tsunami siren model and test message:

“Attention please. This is a test of the Auckland Emergency Management Tsunami Siren Network. The next sound you will hear will be the standard emergency warning signal.”

Siren tone (5x “whoops”)

“If a siren is activated, follow the instructions that accompany this signal. Thank you.”

Check and listen to the siren sound sample here

EVACUATION

In the event of a tsunami emergency, always follow the instructions of the emergency services.

Create an emergency plan for your home and whānau and practice it so everyone knows what to do in an emergency and what to take if you evacuate. If you need help with your plan, see getready.govt.nz.

If you are told to evacuate, please do so by moving to higher ground or as far inland as possible, preferably without using your car. Practice evacuating with your whānau.

Stay in your safe zone and listen to the radio for information. Do not return home unless the official “All-Clear” message has been given. A tsunami is a succession of waves and the danger can take several hours to pass.

Only go home if it is safe to do so. Remember that your home or neighborhood may have been damaged.

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