Under the Tasmanian Emergency Management Plan, the Department of Police
and Emergency Management (DPEM) to which SES belongs, is the management
authority for preparedness and response activities in relation to a
Important roles of the SES are to undertake tsunami awareness
activities in communities which have the potential to be affected by a
tsunami and respond to flooding and damage if a tsunami occurs.
The Tasmanian coastline has been affected by a number of tsunamis over
the past 200 years but these have generally been too small to be
noticed. In recent years some effects have been noticed in the
marine environment and in 1 case, a tsunami did inundate the land to a
What is a Tsunami
A tsunami is a wave generated by the displacement of a large body of
water. This displacement may be caused by:
- vertical movement of the sea floor as the result of a large
- submarine or coastal volcanic eruptions
- coastal landslides and slumps, wither land-based or submarine
- meteor impacts
The SES works closely with Tasmania Police and the Bureau of
Meteorology to ensure that plans are in place and warnings provided
to communities if required.
Before a Tsunami
- If you live on or regularly visit the coast, get to know the tsunami
history and the flood prone areas of your community.
- know the nearest high ground and the safest route to it.
- keep your family emergency kit up to date and know where it is.
- Take notice of the natural warnings of an impending tsunami -
earthquake, rumbling or sudden changes in the behaviour of coastal
seas can all be signs of an approaching tsunami.
When a Tsunami Warning is Issued
- Monitor local TV and radio closely.
- Follow the instructions of emergency services and local officials -
some areas may be warned via loud hailer or mobile public address
- Be aware a tsunami is a series of wavers - there may be more than
one wave and the first may not be the largest. Wait for the all
clear before returning to your home.
- If you cannot reach high ground, shelter in the upper floor of the
closest sturdy building and stay there until advised that it is safe
- NEVER go onto the beach, a breakwater, estuary or harbour to
watch a tsunami. Stay away from the water's edge. A
tsunami can move faster than people can run.
- If you are on a ship or boat at sea, move to deep water. Do
not return to port until advised it is safe to do so. Damaging wave
activity and unpredictable currents can affect harbours for a period
of time after the initial tsunami impact. If you are on a ship
or boat in shallow water close to shore and there is sufficient time,
return to land and secure your boat before seeking high ground.
- NEVER return to low lying areas unless you have been told it
is safe to do so by emergency services or public officials.
Further information is available from:
Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre