Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Tsunami sirens could save lives

Tsunami sirens would warn people of possible danger.
Tsunami sirens would warn people of possible danger.

When I woke up on Friday morning I had no idea the Bay had been rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake or that there was a tsunami warning in place.

At 4.37am my husband and I both woke up to the sound of our venetian blinds tapping against the bedroom window. In our half asleep state we couldn't work out what was happening because the window was closed.

It didn't keep us awake for long. We were asleep again minutes later, none the wiser.

It wasn't until I woke up in the morning and checked my phone that I found out there had been an earthquake at exactly that time.

I checked the news and quickly had enough information to conclude that, although there was a tsunami warning out, the surge was expected to be tiny and of no consequence. So I continued on with my morning as planned.

It did make me think though. At that hour of the morning a large tsunami would have been deadly.

Many people didn't wake at all or, like us, didn't realise what was happening so went back to sleep.

Civil Defence sent out texts and emails to those registered for them but most of the time a text is not enough to wake me at that hour of the morning.

I think we do need tsunami sirens - and they need to be activated quickly if there is any suggestion of danger.

I realise that in the event of a major tsunami the sirens still would not give people much time but they certainly would have a better chance than if they were still asleep.

There is always the risk that we end up in the shoes of the little boy who cried wolf after a couple of false alarms like we had on Friday but at least it would alert people.

It would at least make me wake up and find out what was happening.

I believe sirens have the potential to save lives.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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