Earthquakes can happen at any time, without warning and are often followed by aftershocks. Earthquakes happen each day in New Zealand with over 20,000 recorded in and around the country each year. Most are too small to be noticed, however, 150 earthquakes a year are large enough to be felt in New Zealand.
Earthquakes can trigger other hazards such as:
Most earthquake-related injuries and loss of life result from falling debris, flying glass and collapsing structures such as buildings and bridges. Earthquakes may require widespread evacuations and result in damage to buildings, lifeline utility disruption and environmental impacts.
While earthquakes are common in New Zealand, Auckland lies in a seismically quiet part of the country. However, earthquakes have been felt in Auckland in the past.
What do I need to do to be ready?
Preparedness can help reduce the damage to your home and business and help you survive.
Getting ready before an earthquake strikes will help reduce the damage to your home and business and help you survive.
Remember Drop, Cover and Hold when an earthquake is happening
It stops you being knocked over, makes you a smaller target for falling and flying objects, and protects your head, neck and vital organs.
DROP down on your hands and knees. This protects you from falling but lets you move if you need to.
COVER your head and neck (or your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk (if it is within a few steps of you). If there’s no shelter nearby, drop and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
HOLD on to your shelter (or your position to protect your head and neck) until the shaking stops. If the shaking shifts your shelter around, move with it. If there’s no shelter near you, crawl to an inside corner of the room and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Don’t run outside or stand in a doorway. Many people are injured while trying to move DURING the shaking. It’s safer to Drop, Cover and Hold until the shaking is over.
It can still be hazardous after an earthquake, find out what you need to check.
After the shaking has stopped:
Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sleep or sit. Close picture hooks to prevent the string or wire disengaging as the item swings.
Earthquakes can damage land, which has seriously effected roads in past events. This might be through land swelling, sinking, cracking or liquefaction occurring.
Immediately following the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, 80% of Christchurch was without power. For thousands of homes, it took over two weeks to have electricity restored