SunLive – Tsunami siren: the Coromandel group buys its own


After a two-year battle over tsunami sirens in the Coromandel, a community group is considering buying theirs.

Sirens at Thames Coromandel went offline last year after the paging system triggered a false tsunami warning in 2020, causing confusion and distress.

Now communities who felt it was the wrong call – based in Whitianga, Pauanui and Tairua – are raising funds to buy and install their own sirens on communal land.

Thames-Coromandel District Council “may consider” the request, emergency management officer Garry Towler said.

“Our council is failing its systems, and we want our sirens back,” Linda Cholmondeley Smith said. Things.

“There are more than 80 volcanoes between Tonga and New Zealand on the Kermadec Trench,” Tsunami Sirens co-leader Silenced Group said.

“If one of these volcanoes erupts, we would have less than 30 minutes to reach higher ground, so we need all the warning systems we can get.”

The group has held several community meetings over the past two years and a petition – which has garnered over 2,000 signatures – in an effort to reconnect the mermaids.

But Thames Coromandel District Council says it will cost more than $5 million for necessary upgrades to the system, which it says is inefficient.

The district will have to install 45 sirens along the coast, 18 more than it already has.

And sirens may reach just 44% of the population, while the national cell alert system, Red Cross Hazards app, radio coverage and improved Wi-Fi would reach 80-90% of people on the Coromandel during a peak period such as Christmas.

Tsunami Sirens Silenced Group co-leader David Yeomans, however, believes the council that relies on mobile technology “doesn’t add up” in a district with one of the nation’s most aging populations.

“There are groups of people who are very serious about mermaids just because of geography and lack of phone contact,” Yeomans says.

The group estimates it will need to raise between $40,000 and $90,000 per siren and has quotes from three different tsunami siren manufacturers.

The idea is to start with one in each of the three towns – Whitianga, Pauanui and Tairua – and build from there.

Garry Towler, from Thames-Coromandel District Council, said the council “could consider” installing the sirens on council land, but there would be three requirements.

The group must be legitimate, with a legal entity that could manage and maintain the siren over the long term, he says.

The siren will also have to comply with national standards and have the support of the National Emergency Management Agency.

-Stuff/Sharnae Hope.

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