Telegrafia Intervened in New Zealand

Telegrafia Intervened in New Zealand

Telegrafia’s electronic sirens are installed all over the world, and their purpose is quite often associated with danger. Despite the unfortunate circumstances that may accompany the process of broadcasting warning messages and signals of our sirens, we are happy to intervene in the right place at the time of the utmost need. That is to say, at least a few seconds before anything happens.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Recently, Telegrafia intervened in the port of Napier, Haske’s Bay, New Zealand, where our Pavians helped evacuate the port due to the potential danger of an impending tsunami wave. This was to be the result of an earthquake in the Kermadec Islands earlier in March 2021, which had reached magnitude 8.1 and had been the largest in the affected area northeast of New Zealand in the last forty-five years. Some residents on the North Island received emergency text messages asking them to evacuate immediately. People on the coast were urged to leave their homes due to an incoming, devastating tsunami wave.

However, after several hours of tension, the warning was downgraded from a land-and-marine threat to a beach-and-marine threat only, meaning that the people in the area could return to their homes. The beaches made an exception as they were challenged by strong water currents and unpredictable tidal surges for several more hours. Therefore, all coastal areas and rivers remained “forbidden” for some time after the disaster.

Danger (im)possible

A warning system announcing the possibility of an impending disaster frightened every New Zealander on the north coast and made him jump in with both feet. The very sound of sirens can always cause fear in us. In that case, the people were glad it was only potential danger. Fortunately, the threat drifted away, and the warning was eventually cancelled. The only significant consequence of the alarm was traffic jams caused by the immediate evacuation. But let us ask … what if? How many lives could have been saved by an early warning provided by the warning system?

Warning systems and solutions by Telegrafia

Telegrafia offers several warning solutions that can be easily adapted depending on the type of their application, installation location, and the character of possible danger. One of them, which was also tested during the emergency in New Zealand, is a port warning system. As mentioned in the introduction to this article, Pavian electronic sirens were involved in the evacuation of the port of Napier. Having been regularly tested for the preceding fourteen months, the port’s warning system was activated on March 5, 2021, to warn people, visitors and port workers of a possible tsunami coming due to a strong earthquake. It issued an evacuation warning for the northern part of the island. The port belongs to the red tsunami zone. More than 500 port users were evacuated, among whom were 20 truck drivers and public officers directing the evacuation of the others to the higher Bluff Hill Lookout.

In the end, the port and adjacent bay were not affected by floods and did not report significant damage; however, what cannot go unnoticed is that Telegrafia’s warning system worked more than well. Together with the local emergency management, it ensured the smooth, swift, and safe evacuation of civilians in the area. Although several shortcomings in the communications between some of the port staff members were identified during the evacuation process, these can be soon remedied.

The question of what if and how many lives could have been saved cannot be answered precisely. But if … then a lot of lives can be saved. Find out more about Telegrafia’s warning solutions at

The article was written by

Róbert Jakab

Robert is like a moving photograph – because he is like a video. He can capture 60 frames per second. Whenever something happens, he records it. Currently, he’s working on smaller videos and hoping to make a feature film one day and then its sequel. Telegrafia 2: Monkey Power

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