1 Mar 2010

Papers dominated by tsunami warnings

8:07 am on 1 March 2010

Newspapers on Monday morning are dominated by reaction to Sunday's tsunami warnings.

The New Zealand Herald devotes its entire front page to the event. Under a banner headline 'Waves of Defiance', it says Civil Defence Minister John Carter has described hundreds of New Zealanders who raced to beaches to watch a potentially catastrophic tsunami as "stupid".

Meanwhile, New Zealanders with relatives in Chile faced an anxious wait for news of their loved ones after the huge earthquake disrupted communications there.

The Dominion Post reports people have been warned to stay away from the water, with aftershocks possible in Chile and the seas continuing to surge.

A paua diver at Waimarama in Hawke's Bay was cut and bruised when he was swept over rocks during the surges.

The Press reports scientists say a "hell of a lucky" low tide saved Christchurch from damage after waves triggered by the earthquake hit city beaches.

Boats are pictured sitting on the seabed after surges drained Cass Bay in Lyttelton Harbour.

The Otago Daily Times reports up to 200 South Otago residents moved to higher ground.

Sixty campers at Hampden were evacuated, Dunedin beaches were closed and about 500 people on the Otago Peninsula were personally warned about possible dangers.

In a separate story, the paper asks whether Otago authorities and residents over or under-reacted to the tsunami alerts. It says that's the question to be answered when Civil Defence, police and other groups are debriefed in the weeks ahead.