This week's winning letter

Tauranga needs sirens
Re Tsunami sirens. As the owner of the world's most powerful siren ever built (1952 Chrysler air raid siren), I would like to make a few points about the ongoing siren debate.
I currently reside in Los Angeles, California where most of the beach cities have very powerful tsunami sirens. Residents are used to the distinctive sound that they make.
Tauranga locals would become used to the sound which could be achieved through monthly tests or drills.
I don't know what kind of sirens have been tested but using fire station sirens was a big mistake as they where never intended to alert entire cities.
Modern sirens such as the ones used in the American Midwest or tornado alley are mounted on 10m high towers to prevent the sound from being absorbed by buildings and hills. Dead spots in low ground and behind large buildings are supplemented by the use of smaller sirens which leads to complete coverage so everyone can hear them.
The current readynet system reminds me of the old air raid warden who had to run round and alert everybody.
This system could be used in conjunction with sirens but I think sirens are a must for Tauranga.
Daniel French, United States (formerly of Otumoetai)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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