Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: A Tsunami False Alarm at 2.00 AM was All I Needed

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  • David Haywood, in reply to Ross Mason,

    I know the loop precisely! There is only one route into and out of Cooks Beach and you didn’t find it! Obviously an April Fooler turned one of the signs around…..?

    Worse than that. I checked in daylight, and the follow-up sign is in such a location that it couldn't possibly be seen by a car (headlights would never shine there), and is unlikely to be seen even by a pedestrian at night.

    But actually it was just as well we didn't see it -- it led down a dead end street and to a narrow footpath.

    In other words, once you reach the dead end in your car, you realize that the evacuation route is for pedestrians only.

    It certainly does not identify itself as an evacuation route for pedestrians on the sign. Here's a photo so that you can check for yourself.

    Not very good thinking at all, in my opinion. Just what you don't want in an tsunami -- a whole bunch of tourists gunning their cars into the same dead-end street.

    At any rate, thanks for posting the response from Adrian Prowse, Ross. I'll drop him a line as well.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to David Haywood,

    Dear David – you & lovely family stay well, be happy, and keep on producing wordy stuff! (Tho’ I’m not quite sure to make of the totally enthusiastic reception of Arapeta by one whanau- he keeps licking the pages- which means, I think, write another Arapeta adventure! Quick!)

    -may I get back to something I posted much earlier?: it’s up to small communities to make sure all their members know the signal for tsunami BUT
    we desperately need a nationwide one- yes?

    Firing three shots down the main drag of o say? Invercargill would not be a good idea. It is here – but

    I dont think it is beyond our collective abilities and expertise to bloody well invent a good system overnight- minions! We can do it! Go to it!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to chris,

    And he recruited his tsunami-warning troops from where?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    from Anderson’s paddock,
    roused from their grazing,
    stampeded the township,
    saved every babe.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    What is needed is something both visual & soundful and unique- something that not only flashes & shouts TSUNAMI! GEDDOUTAHERE! but cant be confused with a fire siren (or police car sirens.)And, to accompany it, there are needed very clear directions as to what to do when the alarums go off- much as you find in almost all motels etc. "in event of fire"- clear 'runaway' directions.

    Otherwise- there's going to be a lot of people, unnessecarily dead-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    "She felt uneasy - woke up early
    said to her mother, We must run-
    you take the babies, and a blanket or 2
    and I'll go to the claim, make him have done-
    he loved his gold and
    she loved him, and the babies grew
    but back they never did come"

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Such pathos, that is beautiful. Thank you Islander.

    Perhaps a giant duck call device that can fit to the siren motor?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to chris,

    Pathos?
    Ymm, that was a real story, not a tug at the heart strings.

    Aside from parries, what duck? And where parries are known & treasured, WTF?

    We need a screamingly different sound-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    what duck?

    Was thinking of the hardy water off a ducks back and the ironic took to it like a duck to water


    How about bells? There must be some semi obsolete or traditional device that could provide the dB, a decent sized vuvuzela?

    Traditionally made from a kudu horn, the vuvuzela was used to call together meetings and could be heard by distant peoples summoned to attend.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to chris,

    There are NO bells in South Westland. In all the places my whanau live – there are no bells. In all of CHCH, as useful warning systems – no bells.

    BELLS ARE NO LONGER – ooops- well they just arnt useful here, any more.

    Whistles – enhanced. Gongs (used to be a call in the olden times -both jade & wooden.) Human voices?

    Nah. We’re back to explosions. Fireworks. Or,creeping off into that dark night-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    Yeah, we had shell-trumpets (and also ones made of flax & wood.) The only person I know who can still effectively use them (Richard Nunns) is 500 k away. The very technology to produce those is effectively - dead.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Well that's.....progress. I wonder if there are any old fog horns about the place.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to chris,

    Became extinct in all harbours I know of in the late 1950s-

    (I can actually remember hearing foghorns in both Oamaru & Dunedin harbours…)

    One matter is – if you used any of these sound systems without accustoming the natives (us) to what they meant – well, you get the very unfortunate situation that
    David Hayward me te whanau found themselves in.

    WHY ISNT THERE AN INTERNATIONAL SET OF WARNING SOUNDS&LIGHTS FOR TSUNAMI? FOR CYCLONES/HURRICANES?

    Geez, we live in the 21st century: we know this kind of stuff will happen. We know not everyone will have electronic gadgetry but we CAN make sure that people are alarmed—-erm, appropriately

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    More Tsunami evacuation fun...

    In Huia (west auckland) the Tsunami evacuation signs and sirens went in a few months after the boxing day Tsunami a few years back (like most places, I expect?).

    They, quite sensibly, guide you inland from the sea, along a ~1km flat to go up the face of a water-supply dam, that must be at least 50m high and has a road up it and plenty of parking at the top. (The Lower Huia dam a wide earth dam and unlikely to be damaged by any earthquake that contributed to a Tsunami)... in short, it was a great escape option... Until about three months later when Watercare decided to lock the gates permanently... pedestrian access only now for the last 700m. !

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    Oh shit - another big earthquake just hit off coast of NorthEast Japan. 7.4, predicted 1 metre wave.

    All joking aside, it would be nice to be equipped with a decent tsunami warning system and evacuation route for just these sorts of eventualities. I'm with Islander - this stuff happens - IS happening - why can't we be prepared for it?

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to Tamsin6,

    Now saying it was 7.1, pictures they are showing on Sky show a pretty big shake anyway.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Tamsin6,

    Yeah, it was the second biggest aftershock so far.
    Looking at the map, it was uncomfortably close to Sendai; OTOH that means the focus was shallower, which should mean there is less chance of a big tsunami in Tohoku this time. (There’s been a tsunami warning issued for Tohoku, but not for Kanto.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1943 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to linger,

    Well, that's good news at least. As usual, (my) words are inadequate, but it looked really distressing from over here, and good to know that not quite as dreadful as it could have been.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    pettifogging the alarmists...

    ...we had shell-trumpets...

    until those conch objectors came along...

    ... and anyway Hercules epically advises
    on the benefits of ignoring Sirens.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    We arrived at the local shop (to check our PO Box and buy a paper) a short 30 hours after a double fatal accident near-by. The gentle sound of trucks rumbling by was shattered by the siren. We all looked at each other and laughed nervously.

    It was the fire-brigade being called out to assist the crane that was working at the accident site. Was a siren really necessary? Turns out the local crew weren't required anyway.

    And as an aside, our number two dog could get a job as a siren, but he does need that first wail to get him started.

    A second aside, apparently these volunteer firebrigaders never get any trauma counseling. Even after attending a burning vehicle (driver inside), or a suicide.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Dinah Dunavan,

    A second aside, apparently these volunteer firebrigaders never get any trauma counseling. Even after attending a burning vehicle (driver inside), or a suicide.

    It’s available to all NZFS personnel, volunteer or career. I was repeatedly reminded of the availability of trauma counselling while I was a volunteer. Every region has on-call counsellors, and the contact details should be posted in every station.
    It’s hard with volunteers because they have “real” lives to get back to when they return to the station, but the resources are available. I know of volunteer officers who’ve arranged to have a counsellor waiting at the station on the crew’s return from particularly rough calls, but you cannot force people to undergo routine counselling. It’s counter-productive, for one thing.

    ETA: Also don't think that "proper" counselling is the only possible option. Emergency services personnel informally debrief all the time. In a vehicle leaving the job, on the side of the road, over a beer in the station bar, the ways and places are many. Volunteer brigades have strong internal connections, and they support their own. Talking with someone is a matter of picking up the phone and asking.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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