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Comment: Be alert to tsunami

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"Long or Strong, Get Gone." Evacuate immediately – don't wait for anything.

That was a key theme as top international tsunami experts gathered in Wellington last week under the Unesco Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to develop a firmer grasp of tsunami risk in the Southwest Pacific.

Tsunami is at the forefront of our minds for good reason; the devastating Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 and more recent deadly events such as the Samoa tsunami in 2009, the Japan tsunami in 2011 and, on September 28 this year, the tragic tsunami in Indonesia.

These are more than just international headlines. They are reminders to be prepared. New Zealand's islands mean a lot of coastline with a lot of our people living there. Add to that our seismically active country – as last month's 6.2 Taumarunui quake demonstrated.

Ongoing research, systems that monitor, detect, and issue warnings........

© New Zealand Herald