Low-lying, isolated communities on the Chatham Islands would be extremely exposed if a tsunami hit, new research shows.
A University of Canterbury student’s original research shows the Chathams will be the first place in New Zealand to be struck by tsunami events from South American earthquakes.
The South American subduction zone is one of the most frequent sources of tsunamis for New Zealand.
The student, Kristie-Lee Thomas, grew up in the Chatam Islands and is doing the research as part of her masters.
Information from ancestral knowledge, old newspapers, stories and archive items about the impacts of the fatally destructive 1868 tsunami have not previously been brought to light, she said.