Waitaki needs to be ready for quakes

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A string of damaging quakes in central New Zealand in the past six months means Waitaki people should also be prepared, Waitaki emergency services manager Chris Raine says.

“We do have fault lines around Oamaru. There’s the Waihemo fault line that runs from Shag Point inland west to the top of the Pigroot. It moves every 3500 years.

“We’ve also got the Ostler fault in the Omarama and Twizel area.”

The Otago Regional Council has advised little was known about the Waihemo fault line but it had the capability of delivering a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. A study by Environment Canterbury has shown at least three ground-surface rupture earthquakes have occurred in the last 10,000 years on the Ostler Fault Zone.

Mr Raine said while the district had not sustained any quakes in recent times, people still needed to be prepared and should have at least three days food supply in their homes.

Meanwhile, three organisations have issued a reminder on quake preparedness.

GNS Science, EQC, and the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management said in a joint statement that the quakes this week in the North Island underlined New Zealand’s vulnerability to natural hazards.

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management has advised the best action during an earthquake is to “drop, cover and hold”.

“If you are inside, move no more than a few steps and do not try to run outside. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit,” director John Hamilton said.

In most buildings in New Zealand, it is safer to stay where you are until the shaking stops, Mr Hamilton said.

More information about what to do before, during and after an earthquake is at www.getthru.govt.nz

GNS Science records about 20,000 quakes in New Zealand each year, with 200 to 300 being big enough to be felt.

By CHRIS TOBIN