Beach trip despite warning

Despite tsunami warnings being in place, a handful of people still ventured to a Southland beach yesterday morning.

While not included in initial warnings, southerners were advised yesterday morning to stay away from beaches following a series of earthquakes near Gisborne and the Kermadec Islands.

There was no need to evacuate, however the National Emergency Management Agency issued a beach and marine tsunami warning.

French travellers Caroline Ly and Oaianne Lelay visited an Invercargill beach yesterday morning,...
French travellers Caroline Ly and Oaianne Lelay visited an Invercargill beach yesterday morning, despite the tsunami threat. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

"It is advised to stay off beaches and shore areas. Stay out of the water ... do not go sightseeing," the warning advised.

This meant there could be a threat of strong currents and unpredictable surges near the shore.

The surges had potential to affect the east and south coasts of the South Island from the Waipara River to the Rakaia River, including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, and from the Taieri River to Puysegur Point, including Invercargill. Stewart Island could also have been affected.

The threat was downgraded in the afternoon, but advice remained to keep clear of beaches.

While the road to Oreti Beach near Invercargill was quiet in the morning, a few people still made the trip.

This was in spite of a permanent sign reading: "Tsunami hazard zone."

French travellers Caroline Ly and Oaianne Lelay said they were aware of the tsunami threat but were not concerned as they felt far from any risk.

Ms Ly said she was informed of it by an Instagram post made by the Prime Minister earlier in the day, while her companion said they were keeping updated via social media.


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