Otago's weather spans the spectrum from hot dry summers to long, cold winters. These extremes can present challenges to those of us who live here.

Knowing what the risks are can help us be prepared for them. Visit the Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management website for tips on how you can get ready for extreme weather events. 

Alluvial fans

An alluvial fan is an accumulation of river or stream (alluvial) sediments that form where streams emerge from hill country onto a valley floor. Alluvial fans can be formed by several geomorphic processes, which become hazards when they intersect people, property or infrastructure.

Read more

Coastal erosion

Coastal erosion is the wearing away of land and beach sediments by waves, tidal currents, drainage or high winds.

Read more


Earthquakes occurring both within Otago and beyond its boundary can affect people and property within the region.

Read more


We identify areas at risk of flooding from rivers and lakes around Otago.

Read more


The term landslide describes a wide range of ground movements, such as rockfalls, deep failure of slopes, shallow debris-slides, and flows. We hold information on known landslides in the region.

Read more

Storm surge

A storm surge is a higher than normal sea level, due to changes in barometric pressures and wind, which can result in inundation of roads and coastal property over an extended period.

Read more


A tsunami is a series of waves caused when a large mass of earth on the bottom of the ocean suddenly drops or rises, rapidly displacing the water above it.

Read more

Otago Natural Hazards Database

Our hazards database is intended to improve public access to hazard information and to help the public, local authorities, and others make informed decisions about their exposure to natural hazards.

Read more

Emergency Management Otago

Emergency Management Otago (Civil Defence Otago) helps keep people better prepared for emergencies and well-informed during emergencies.

Read more

Page last updated 24 July 2024.