Explore our Natural Hazards Database to find out about natural hazards in Otago.

The database portal contains a variety of information on natural hazards in Otago, from interactive maps and photos to reports and links to other useful resources. It is a handy online tool that can help the public, local authorities and others make informed decisions about their exposure to natural hazards. 

The information within the natural hazards database portal is generally relevant to wide areas and is not a LIM (Land Information Memorandum), or a substitute for a LIM. To obtain a LIM and/or understand natural hazard information for a specific property or parcel of land, please contact your local city/district council. 

Open the natural hazards portal

How to use the database

In the Natural Hazards Database (NHDB Portal), interactive maps are presented under tabs for specific hazards, from flooding to coastal hazards and earthquakes. Each tab shows the hazards mapping information ORC holds for that type of hazard. 


  1. You can move around the maps and zoom in or out to find areas you are interested in or search an area by property address. 
  2. Click on the hazard features in any map to view pop-up information for that hazard and find a link to the source report. 
  3. There are also tabs for our photo information, technical reports and links to other resources. 
  4. Please click the Otago Natural Hazards Portal to directly access the NHDB Portal.  
  5. In addition, you can view the video below for a full description on how to best use it. 

Hazards information is indicative and is constantly being reviewed and subject to change. If you find an error or have a suggestion for improvement then please submit your feedback via our Natural Hazards Database Feedback Form.

Hazard information available

The ORC database provides maps and data on a range of different natural hazards that Otago potentially faces, including:

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.

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Coastal erosion

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

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Drought is not just about low rainfall; it’s when the expected rain doesn’t come. In Otago, different weather conditions force communities to adapt. Drought causes problems like stress for people, changes in nature (like losing plants), and financial losses for farmers.

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

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

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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.

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Snowstorms in Otago pose serious risks, especially in coastal areas unaccustomed to heavy snow. Collapsing roofs, power outages, and transportation disruptions are common. Preparation is key to safety.

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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.

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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.

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Severe winds pose significant risks for residents in Otago. They can cause damage to property and infrastructure, while incidents have led to airport closures, downed power lines, and fires sparked by electrical discharges. Strong winds can arise due to various atmospheric conditions.

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Otago Natural Hazards Portal

Open the natural hazards portal

Page last updated 22 June 2024.