BALLINA would face a full-scale evacuation in the event of a tsunami, new maps released by the NSW State Emergency Service show.
The Tsunami Evacuation Maps, which cover the entire NSW coast highlight areas in red where people should evacuate and seek higher ground, or shelter at least 10m up "in a sturdy concrete building".
The areas coloured in red lie up to 10m above sea level, and up to 1km inland or 10km up an estuary.
As the maps show, Ballina would face a mass evacuation in a tsunami situation, as well as Byron Bay CBD and Brunswick Heads due to their low-lying position.
Mullumbimby is also exposed, with its low-level position on the Brunswick River putting it under threat.
The SES says the red zones "represent the areas considered most at risk from modelling of potential tsunami and effects observed elsewhere".
"It is important to note that these maps are not inundation maps... The NSW SES is working on getting more data and refining maps to show potential inundation and evacuation routes in the future," it said.
It also stressed the likelihood of a land-threat tsunami on Australia's east coast was low.
"Marine-threat tsunamis occur once about every six years, but are usually only dangerous to swimmers and boaters because of the dangerous currents.
"There is no record of a land-threat tsunami in Australia since European settlement."
NSW SES Acting Commissioner Greg Newton said a tsunami could be a series of waves caused by an earthquake, submarine eruptions or coastal landslides.
"If there is a threat of land inundation from a tsunami, move to higher ground at least ten meters above sea level or, if possible, one kilometer away from the coast and rivers. Be sure to listen to your local radio station for information, warnings and advice," Acting Commissioner Newton said.
The online maps are available at www.tsunamisafe.com.au. You can enter your postcode to view the area where you live or work and explore other areas that would be evacuated on the NSW coast.
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