'This is a potential hazard' - Landslides have triggered tsunamis up to 5m in New Zealand lake

A NIWA study shows tsunamis up to 5m have occurred in Lake Tekapo, prompting a warning from the authors.

Dr Joshu Mountjoy, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, said tsunamis in lakes are rare, but they do happen.

"Not many people think about these, but there have been a number of examples where large tsunamis have happened in lakes," he said.

"We've seen that there's landslides all around the edges of the lakes and recorded in the lake sediments, and so we've modelled those and we're seeing waves of up to 5m at lots of locations around the shore."

Dr Mountjoy said New Zealand was among countries with dynamic geological landscapes, which have the steep mountains next to lakes required to trigger landslide tsunamis.

"Wakatipu, Wanaka, Lake Taupō - these are subject to these dynamic geological processes and so could have tsunami in them.

"People need to be aware that this is a potential hazard.

"The same thing applies that we advise at the coastline - if it's long and strong, be gone.

"If you feel a really large earthquake, if it's more than a minute long or it's so strong you can't stand up, then move away from the shoreline.

"The warning's going to be natural."

Dr Joshu Mountjoy of NIWA says tsunamis of up to 5m have taken place at Lake Tekapo. Source: Breakfast

Surface flooding sparks calls for Christchurch motorists to take extra care

Contractors are putting warning signs out around Christchurch this morning as a result of surface flooding.

Signs have been placed on flood-prone Richardson Terrace, between Opawa Road and Sulivan Ave. This road runs alongside the Heathcote River.

Maces Road and Clarendon Road have also been closed this morning.

Motorists are being urged to drive to the conditions and take extra care.

An update from NZTA is expected in the next hour regarding the Kaikoura coast roads.

Work is underway to provide much needed relief to flood-prone areas in the city.
Source: 1 NEWS


Deluge in store for much of lower North Island and as low pressure system moves down the country

A deep low pressure system moving down the country is creating heavy rain across the North Island today, with flooding and rising rivers a particular concern for the North Island's East Coast.

MetService has issued severe weather warnings for the Tongariro National Park and the Kaikoura Ranges with significant rainfall through to tonight.

The low will track southeast across the lower North Island today and move to the east by Thursday, with further heavy rain expected along the way.

Check out the forecast for your area here.

Taihape and the Canterbury Hills have also been issued with a severe weather watch today.

Downpours will be continuing in the lower North Island, in Wellington through to New Plymouth, however they will begin to ease tonight.

In the Bay of Plenty there will be cloud cover and showers peppered throughout the day with westerly winds too.

In Whakatane and Tauranga there will be a high of 17 degrees.

The deluge will also continue today for Whitianga and Auckland, with fresh winds in the mix also.

The rain should gradually clear this afternoon on the East Coast, with Gisborne even seeing some fine spells.

However, about 50 roads remained shut in the Gisborne region last night after heavy rain caused flooding, slips and trees to fall.

A light morning's rain is expected in Westport and Nelson, but come this afternoon things should start to fine up for everyone, with gusty winds also dying out.

It'll be overcast in Southland and Otago, with morning frosts expected for some places. 

Also keep an eye out for occassional drizzle in Dunedin and Oamaru.

Breakfast weatherman Matty McLean has the latest forecast. Source: Breakfast