28 Oct 2009

Warning NZ no more prepared for tsunami than Samoa

2:43 pm on 28 October 2009

A former Civil Defence adviser says New Zealand is no more prepared for a major tsunami than Samoa was.

A tsunami following a magnitude 8.0 earthquake on 29 September struck Samoa's south coast, American Samoa and Tonga, killing 183 people.

The Minister of Civil Defence is expected to issue two reports into New Zealand's response to the Samoa tsunami in the next few days.

Former Civil Defence scientific adviser Willem De Lange says New Zealand's tsunami warning system focuses on long-distance threats when the largest danger is from an earthquake close to the coast.

He told Nine to Noon there is a 10% to 12% chance of a damaging tsunami hitting New Zealand during the course of a year.