West Coast ShakeOut

url: http://www.shakeout.org.nz

West Coast ShakeOut is a coast-wide earthquake drill at 10.10am Friday 18 September. Participants are invited to register on the website to join in the drill by doing a 'drop, cover and hold' drill on the day (takes one minute) and in the process learn something about the unstable nature of the West Coast and what you can do to reduce your exposure to risk.

The Alpine Fault runs the length of the South Island and is predominantly near to the West Coast. It last ruptured in 1717 producing a M7.9 earthquake and extensive damage to the landscape. Before that the average interval between the last 5 ruptures was 200 years, so after 292 years we should not be surprised if we get one soon. The process has been ongoing for about 23 million years or more, so it is unlikely to be stopping now. Indeed, accurate GPS measurements confirm that the east of South Island is continuing to move relative to the west.

The extent of the damage to infrastructure will mind-blowing, with roads like Arthur's Pass closed for about 7 months or even more. We will be isolated and spend several days or weeks with out power or communications.

Our houses are designed to remain standing in earthquakes, but most of us fill our rooms with potential projectiles. Preparing now is a wise move. Those who do not are very likely to be injured. After that, it is good to have an emergency kit so that you can survive without assistance for at least three days and up to a week. 

Register now and learn a few tips on the way ...

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