• Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence advises region to stay out of the water

Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence advises region to stay out of the water

Due to the approach of Cyclone Cody and the large volcanic eruption at Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'pai in Tonga, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is advising everyone in the region to stay off the beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries until Wednesday.

It comes after a tsunami hit Tonga when underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai erupted for eight minutes, throwing clouds of ash into the sky, yesterday afternoon. 

Group Controller Ian Macdonald said the combined impact of these two events means there is a "real safety risk" to people close to or in the water.

“We are advising people to move out of the water, refrain from boating and stay off beaches and shore areas until Wednesday,” Macdonald said.

“Cyclone Cody is tracking further to the east than initially forecast and the risk of strong winds and significant rain for Hawke’s Bay has reduced, however, it is likely that the region’s coastline will experience significant waves and hazardous sea conditions from this storm from today through Tuesday,” Ian Macdonald said.

A National Advisory from the National Emergency Management Agency is also currently in place advising of tsunami activity which is expected to result in strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the Hawke’s Bay shore.

“The large volcanic eruption in Tonga has resulted in some minor tsunami activity along the Hawke’s Bay coast with strong and unusual currents of up to half a metre in Napier and unpredictable surges observed on tsunami gauges. This threat must be regarded as real until the Advisory is cancelled,” Ian Macdonald said.

Hawke's Bay Harbourmaster has recommended boat owners check moorings in the Inner Harbour, being careful to stay out of the water.

“Remember, ongoing surges may be larger than others and it is not unusual for tsunami surges to continue for 12 hours. Dangerous currents can also persist in harbours for 60 hours or more,” Macdonald said.

“Otherwise people are advised to stay out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries." 

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