People should still stay away from water despite tsunami warning downgrade, scientist warns

GNS senior scientist Graham Leonard is warning people to still stay out of the water, even though the land tsunami threat has lifted.

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GNS’ Graham Leonard says strong sea surges and coastal disturbances are still expected, which are dangerous. Source: 1 NEWS

Strong sea surges and coastal disturbances are still expected for coastal regions around the country and people are warned to stay out of the water and avoid beaches.

For any aspiring surfers, Leonard's message is clear: Stay out of the water.

"Tsunami are dangerous. We're not talking about shallow wind waves," he told 1 NEWS.

The strong currents often drag debris and sediment and can last minutes and a time.

"They're very dangerous to be in even if it's not notably affecting onland beyond the beach. People should be watching for currents and staying out of the water."

He also warns further aftershocks are likely, encouraging people to stay tuned to the National Emergency Management Agency.