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While many of us are aware of beach safety measures like swimming between the red and yellow flags, some people are still in the dark about tsunami safety precautions.

This summer, the NSW SES and Surf Life Saving NSW are teaming up to raise awareness of tsunami to help people understand what to do if one happened on our coastline.

A tsunami can be a series of waves that is generated by either:

  • Sea floor movement caused by an earthquake.
  • Submarine or coastal volcanic eruptions
  • Coastal landslides and slumps
  • A meteor impact

Tsunami can vary in size and there are two types of warnings that are issued with different threat levels:

  • Tsunami Warning with a marine and immediate foreshore threat level
  • Tsunami Warning with a land inundation threat level

Learn more about Tsunami Warnings

So what can you do to be prepared?

“Be aware of your risks, particularly if you are in a low-lying coastal area,” NSW SES Commissioner, Murray Kear said. “Often people become complacent about the dangers of tsunami and in the past warnings have been issued which have been ignored by some beach goers.”

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Dean Storey said some people also make the mistake of ignoring warnings and staying in the water or going down to the shoreline to watch a tsunami which can place lives at risk.

“A more common ‘marine threat’ tsunami can cause dangerous rip currents and tidal fluctuations, which can pose a serious risk to swimmers, surfers, rock-fishermen and boaties. If a warning is issued to clear the water and foreshore, it is imperative that the public heeds those warnings,” he said.

Commissioner Kear added, “If there is a threat of land inundation, move to higher ground at least ten metres above sea level and listen to your local radio station for updated information.”

Find out more TsunamiSafe tips or go to www.beachsafe.org.au/tsunami/

“The NSW SES is the lead response agency in the event of a tsunami and works closely with Surf Life Saving NSW to ensure communities are well prepared to cope with these events. Helping people prepare now can help reduce the amount of damage and loss associated with severe weather and natural disasters,” Commissioner Kear said.

As a recognised ‘support agency’ in the NSW Tsunami Plan, SLSNSW has a key role to play under direction of the NSW SES to evacuate beaches and coastal areas in the event of a warning and to assist in response and recovery operations.

For more information or interviews please contact:

NSW SES media: 02 4225 7500

Surf Life Saving NSW media: 0414 414 087