We are going to be updating this page as the story develops and information comes in from officials.
Update 4 – The biggest waves have now passed, the National Emergency Management Agency says. The tsunami warnings have now been downgraded.
Those who evacuated are allowed to return to their homes, but a beach and marine threat stays in place; people are warned to stay out of the water and away from beaches.
Update 3 – Here’s a tsunami forecast map issued by the National Emergency Management Agency.
Update 2 – The Civil Defence says the severity of currents and surges will vary within a particular coastal area and over the period this warning is in effect. The first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled.
Update 1 – A marine threat warning has been added for Kaiaua and the Firth of Thames, and Port Charles to Whiritoa by the Waikato Civil Defence Group. “Unusually strong currents and unpredictable water flows near the shore can be expected. This means a potential danger to beach, harbour, estuary areas and small boat activities. Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas near the shore) is possible. stay off the water and off the beaches until further notice,” the group’s statement said.
Key messaging from CIVIL DEFENCE: