Meetings on rising seas

The Clutha District Council and Otago Regional Council will present a series of public meetings early next month to discuss community vulnerability to elevated sea levels and coastal tsunami events.

The regional council recently completed a major report which is aimed at increasing community awareness of elevated sea level and tsunami hazards, and informing decision-making on the development of warning systems and evacuation plans.

Regional council natural hazards manager Michael Goldsmith said the report drew on tsunami and storm-surge modelling done by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in 2007-08, coastal topography data and local knowledge of each community.

Mr Goldsmith said the information had been used to assess how people and their communities would be affected by high-magnitude tsunami and elevated sea-level events.

Clutha District Council planning and environment manager Murray Brass said staff from both councils would present the findings of the report to several coastal communities in early December.

"A number of our coastal communities have a level of exposure to storm surge or tsunami events," he said.

"We have had several tsunami alerts in recent years which thankfully haven't eventuated into much. However, it is important that communities are aware and know what actions to take should a major event occur, particularly given the limited communication links in some of our more remote areas."

Public meetings will be held at four centres and the councils will also look at options for public meetings for other coastal communities in Clutha such as Toko Mouth and Jacks Bay, which are mainly made up of holiday homes.

 


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Public meetings in Clutha:

• Taieri Mouth, Monday, December 3, Leitch Memorial Hall, 7pm
• Kaka Point, Tuesday, December 4, Kaka Point Community Centre, 7pm
• Papatowai, Monday, December 10, Papatowai Fire Station, 5.30pm
• Owaka/Pounawea, Monday, December 10, Pounawea Convention Centre, 7.45pm