Civil Defence all at sea over media work

Green Party MP Keith Locke has criticised national Civil Defence headquarters over slowness in letting the media know there was not a tsunami on the way.

“It is not acceptable that it took three and a half hours for the Civil Defence headquarters to put out a press release countering reports in the international media of a tsunami alert,” Mr Locke, the party’s Civil Defence Spokesperson says.

“For hours media outlets and the general public were unable to tell whether or not a tsunami was on the way — even though Civil Defence apparently knew within a quarter of an hour of the earthquake off Tonga.

“There should at least be a functional, emergency information system — covering phones, the internet and the media.

“This has been a good test run on the weaknesses in the present system, we must now learn from the problems it exposed,” Mr Locke says.