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Christchurch turns to computer modelling for tsunami flooding predictions

Christchurch, New Zealand will now be able to see a clearer picture of the flooding that the coastlines could see from a large distant source tsunami, if sea levels continue to rise with climate change, thanks to a new computer modelling.

According to a recent press release, the Christchurch City Council requested the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to develop the modelling as part of a Multi-Hazard Analysis project.

The project aims to help the Council make decisions on long-term floodplain management strategies for the lower reaches of the Avon, Heathcote and Styx rivers and for Sumner.

According to the Head of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, this kind of modelling is important as it allows them to better understand how tsunamis flood land.

Knowing this will allow them to make the best informed emergency management decisions.

How does it work?

The computer modelling looks at the potential flooding from distant source tsunamis triggered by either a magnitude 9.28 earthquake, which is an event predicted to happen on average once in 500 years, or a magnitude 9.49 earthquake, which is a one in 2500 year event, in Peru, South America.

It considers different sea level rise scenarios, which range from 19 cm to 1.06 metres , for the next 50 to 100 years.

According to the modelling, both distant source tsunami scenarios will result in major inundation in Christchurch, which as, expected, will worsen with the higher sea level scenarios.

Learnings from the modelling

Bays are expected to flood more than previously thought because of the way a tsunami funnels into the bay.

Largely, the report findings are in line with current tsunami evacuation zones.

A handful of property owners in Banks Peninsula were engages so that they are aware of new information and ways that will help them stay safe in the event of a tsunami flooding their land.

The modelling helps them grow their understanding on the matter and as they learn more, they will continue to update the information in the tsunami evacuation zones.

There is no need at this stage for a widespread update of the Land Information Memorandum comments relating to tsunami risk.

One-stop-shop app

In other news, Dunedin, New Zealand’s public transport, Orbus Dunedin as partnered with the all-in-one Dunedin news and events app in order to bring information to mobile users in an easier way.

Orbus has its own dedicated button under “Transport” with options for users of the app to link to their timetable, plan their journey, see the latest alerts and zoom into the network map.

The app will also be providing bus information when notifications are made about major events or diversions that affect everyone in Dunedin, helping users plan their day or week better.

This integration would give bus users a simple, all-in-one mechanism to get bus information.

With patronage increasing, and more people getting their information on mobile, this is one of the ways of adapting to the customers’ demands.

In the future, users will be able to access other services via the app such as topping up their fares online.

People prefer to use one app for many different activities versus many different apps each for one purpose.


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