Find out what to expect during a tsunami and the actions you can take to stay safe until the All Clear is issued.

What to expect

A tsunami can impact the WA coastline as a land or marine threat. Regardless of which threat is issued, follow the advice of DFES and the Bureau of Meteorology. If required to evacuate, do not return to the shore after the first wave. Wait for DFES officials to give the All Clear before you return.

During a tsunami, you can expect dangerous rips, waves, and strong currents that may last for several hours.

When there is a marine threat beaches, rock pools and other foreshore areas are not safe, and there may be some localised land flooding immediately adjoining the foreshore.

During a land threat, there may be flooding to low-lying coastal areas, dangerous waves and strong ocean currents that may last several hours.

Tsunamis that present a land threat are much less frequent than those that present a marine threat. However, when they do occur, they are extremely dangerous.

When DFES issues an alert
If you are at home

Leaving early for a safer place

If a tsunami is threatening your location, you should relocate to a safer place early. Leaving at the last minute could put your life in danger. When relocating, walk if possible to avoid traffic congestion.

When relocating:

  • Take your tsunami emergency kit.
  • Check if your planned route has been impacted.
  • If you have to drive, keep your fuel tank topped up and never drive through flood waters.
  • Tell someone about your travel plans.
  • Keep up to date via Emergency WA or ABC Radio.

Travelling during or after a tsunami

After a tsunami, there is the risk of flooding in low-lying coastal areas and estuaries. Water can be deep, fast flowing with strong currents and have sharp objects that can injure or trap you. It is important to know the dangers of driving in flood waters.

Know the risks of tsunami-driven floodwaters
When you see floodwaters, STOP.

If you shelter at home

If you choose to shelter in your home during a tsunami, it is essential that you first know the risks, understand what you may experience and follow these steps:

  • Ensure you have secured your home and property.
  • Make sure you have a comprehensive emergency kit, including supplies to last five days for your entire household.
  • Relocate household members to the highest safe place.
  • Inform family, friends and authorities that you are staying.
  • Plan to manage without electricity, water, gas and other essential services.
  • Stay informed for official advice via radio or other working telecommunications.

In life threatening situations

Even if you have planned well, life-threatening situations can still happen. Your shelter could be damaged, or someone could become ill or injured.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 000.

Emergency services will try to come to your aid. However, there may be delays due to the dangerous conditions.

If your property is damaged and unsafe, call the State Emergency Service on 132 500 for assistance.

Wait for the All Clear

How to stay informed

It’s critical that you know how to access different information sources to stay up to date during an earthquake.

During mobile network outages, radio is often the most reliable source of information. It is essential to have a battery-powered radio or another device capable of receiving broadcasts on AM/FM frequencies to stay informed in such situations.

More Information

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Find out what to expect after a tsunami and what action you can take to recover.

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Tsunami overview

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Prepare for a tsunami

A tsunami can strike at any time, and you may have little time to respond.

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