Wellington quake 6.6 – August 16

A large earthquake – magnitude 6.6 – struck central New Zealand today, August 16. The likelihood of a bigger shake is now elevated, following the severe earthquake felt around 2.31 pm.

Latest information from WREMO – 17 August 11 am:REGIONAL UPDATE #4 (FINAL): The Wellington Emergency Operations Centre has deactivated, but we will continue monitoring the situation throughout the weekend and will provide updates if there are any significant developments. Wellington CBD is open for business, however some areas may be cordoned off due to broken glass. Please respect cordons and exercise care.

An information centre for affected residents will be open at Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street, from 10am – 4pm for the next few days. 

Aftershocks are continuing. Some buildings have sustained minor damage. Structural engineers are assessing buildings in the CBD today (Saturday), but there have been no reports of major structural damage so far.

Lukes Lane, closed after the earlier big quake, due to threat of a nine storey lift shaft structure collapsing, has been cordoned off again, with emergency demolition of the tower ordered.

Trains are running again. 

Please share this information with your network ‪#‎eqnz‪#‎wellingtonearthquake

16 August 4 pm – Advice to residents of affected areas: When you get home tonight, please ensure you check your grab-bags are easily accessible and you have fresh water, first-aid kit, warm clothing, toilet paper, rubbish bags, strong shoes and gloves, and if you have them – some hand sanitiser, latex gloves, and dust mask. A non-electric land-line phone would be good to dig out too if you have one. Keep the pressure off the phone lines if at all possible. Also, if you’re about to leave Wellington city, bear in mind the roads are pretty jam packed as everyone is having similar ideas. 

The quake was centred (as with the last severe one on July 21st) near Seddon in Marlborough, at a depth of 8km. The magnitude has been revised down (from 6.9) to 6.6, with the largest aftershock so far 5.7 (update – three sequential aftershocks around 5.30 pm have come in at 6.2 and at varying depths, with the shallowest occurring 25 km east of Picton 5 km deep). Trains are NOT running, and there are no bus replacements at this stage (4pm).

Check for WREMO (Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office) facebook updates.

Wellington CBD has stood up well, with no reports of injuries, although the shaking continues, and a number of buildings in the CBD are evacuating for safety reasons. 

No tsunami warning issued. Keep well clear of power lines and non-safety glass. Stay safe everyone. 

Notes from GNS

  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is a common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.

If you are looking for some tips on how to help children deal with earthquakes and all the aftershocks – try this site: SKIP – Earthquakes and other scary stuff.

More information

Wellington earthquakes July 2013

This video shows a press conference convened by Mayor Celia Wade Brown, following the earthquakes that began shaking Wellington and Eastern Marlborough on Friday 19 July, just after 9 in the morning (centred in Seddon, near Blenheim). It provides a reasonable level of scientific detail,as well as discussing the state of buildings and the potential for further earthquakes, The first earthquake was felt at 09.07 on the 19th (see the GeoNet report for details), with the more severe and damaging quake (magnitude 6.5) occurring on Sunday 21 July at 17.09. There were no fatalities.

Much of Wellington’s CBD was off-limits while buildings were inspected and fallen masonry and glass were cleaned up. Power was lost in some areas, and all trains were halted until tracks could be checked.

Volunteer student army – A Wellington student volunteer army has formed, and anyone wanting help with cleaning up after the earthquakes in Wellington can contact them via their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/svawgtntwitter.com/WellingtonSVA or you can email wellington@sva.org.nz.

Alternatively, you can ask Council for help by phoning 04 499 4444.

Insurance – If your home, land or contents suffered damage in the recent earthquakes, you have three months to make a claim through the EQC (Earthquake Commission). Take photos, keep good records and make notes to help with your claim. If it’s safe to do so, hold onto damaged items until they can be inspected.

Call EQC on 0800 326 243 or go to their website http://www.eqc.govt.nz

Civil Defence  The Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) posts up-to-date information on its website (www.getprepared.co.nz). Their Facebook page is worth a visit, especially if you have questions or are wanting to offer help.

The table summarises New Zealand’s earthquake numbers over the past week, month and year.

Magnitude Last week Last month Last year
< 2 308 591 4806
2 – 3 1350 1997 10957
3 – 4 389 541 2582
4 – 5 60 75 345
5 – 6 2 7 22
>= 6 1 1 3
Total 2110 3212 18715

http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/newzealand/statistics

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Map of the site of Christchurch's new urban village

Map of the site. Click to see the map enlarged (PDF).

The Breathe Urban Village Project is taking shape in Christchurch, with the announcement of four finalists and three highly commended concepts, chosen from fifty-eight entries from New Zealand and around the world.

The brief was to develop a concept for a new urban village that provides a variety of medium-density housing and lifestyle choices. Sustainability, innovation and a strong sense of community are key ingredients.

Three New Zealand entrants made the final cut, with the fourth coming from Italy. Judges are Kevin McCloud from TV’s UK Grand Designs, architect Stuart Gardyne, Development Specialist Martin Udale, Kevin Simcock (Engineer), Di Lucas (Landscape Architect), Huia Reriti (Ngāi Tahu Architect). Youth are represented on the judging panel by Zea Harman.

Now the finalists have three months to fine-tune their designs, before judges select the winning concept, which will take shape near Christchurch’s Latimer Square in the heart of the CBD.

The goal of the urban village project as it sits with the overarching Christchurch Central Recovery Plan is to offer an inner city village feel with exceptional quality of life, multi-use parks, entertainment facilities, and shopping, all right next to the central business area. The winning projects had to reflect innovation, international best practice and aspirations of all those that may live and around the development.

Take a look at the range of designs, they’re inspiring.

Breathe urban village design competition Christchurch

Click on the image to see details of the Breathe Project and all the entries.

Source for this article: http://www.futurechristchurch.co.nz/breathe

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Canterbury people mark the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake today, with a midday service and other community events getting underway in Latimer Square. This area of the central business district was devastated by the 6.3-magnitude quake on 22 February 2011. Nearby, the Canterbury Television building (CTV) collapse resulted in the greatest single loss of life during the quake.

The civic service, which is co-hosted by Christchurch Cathedral, includes the laying of a wreath, readings and a minute’s silence at 12.51 pm, recalling the moment when the earthquake occurred.

The River of Flowers is expected to be a spectacular community event, with people invited to drop flowers into the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the estuary all through the day until 8 pm. People can leave messages on one of a number of Trees of Hope around the city and at the  Gap Filler-hosted space at the Pallet Pavilion near Victoria Square. Gap Filler’s aim is to bring people together to remember what has happened, but also to look towards the future and celebrate our resilience. No speeches, just cake, music and communityIn the evening, all the tables will be put together to form one long table to encourage people to come together on this day in the spirit of community. 

Speaking this morning on Radio New Zealand National, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee remains upbeat about Canterbury’s future, two years after the destruction which left thousands of homes and businesses in ruins, and 185 dead. The Minister said that despite widespread concern that there would be unemployment and economic decline in the aftermath of the earthquake, ‘none of that has come to fruition’ (Radio New Zealand Morning Report, 22 Feb 2013). He suggested that Canterbury was in fact, leading New Zealand’s economic recovery, with 16,000 jobs created in Canterbury in the past 12 months.

This short video is a raw (but we think, not insensitive) look at the destruction left by the earthquake event two years ago today. It was shot by Logan McMillan and begins 1 minute after the earthquake struck.

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New proposals on earthquake-prone buildings are up for public consultation, with submissions due by 8th March, 2013. The Department of Building and Housing have created a short video to throw some light on the issues raised by the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The current earthquake-prone buildings system is described, along with the proposed changes and the reasons for them.

Wellingtonians are invited to a briefing tomorrow to discuss the proposed changes. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, along with Wellington City Council, have organised the February 5 meeting in the Michael Fowler Centre.

The changes would mean that:

  • All commercial and multi-storey buildings must have a seismic capacity assessment within five years.
  • Owners of buildings assessed as earthquake-prone would then have up to 10 years to strengthen or demolish them.

The changes imply greater central government control over seismic issues, standards and assessments, than currently.

The vast majority of residential buildings are exempt from the earthquake-prone buildings system and views are sought on the Royal Commission’s recommendation to allow local authorities the power, on consultation with their communities, to enforce policies that would require certain hazardous elements on residential buildings to be dealt with in a specified time. Some elements of residential buildings, like unreinforced masonry chimneys, pose serious hazards in earthquakes. The Commission contends that local authorities should have power to manage this risk, in the context of their region’s seismic profile and the nature of their housing stock .

Make an online submission at dbh.govt.nz, where you can view the consultation document and explanatory video.

Check out The Royal Commission’s report covering earthquake-prone building policy http://canterbury.royalcommission.govt.nz/Final-Report—Part-Two (Volume 4). This was released on 7 December 2012. Note there are some key points of difference in the Royal Commission recommendations, compared with the MBIE review:

  • Residential buildings – individual local authorities to be able to require strengthening of hazardous elements in residential buildings (most residential buildings are not currently covered by the earthquake-prone building system).
  • Unreinforced masonry buildings – faster timeframes for assessment (within two years) and strengthening (within seven years). Higher strengthening levels (to 50 per cent of new building requirements) for certain parts of unreinforced masonry buildings (chimneys, parapets, ornaments and external walls).
  • Local authority powers – giving local authorities the option of requiring strengthening to be done faster and/or to higher levels than those set by central government, after consulting with communities.

Wellington public meeting, February 5, 7pm, the Michael Fowler Centre. 

Public consultation on the Government’s proposed changes closes on March 8, 2013.

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ShakeOut is happening at 9.26 am on September 26 this year.

What is ShakeOut? It’s a Ministry of Civil Defence initiative to draw everyone’s attention to earthquake preparedness. Right now, we have more than one million people registered to take part!

Are you registered for this NZ-wide earthquake drill? Further information is available on the Civil Defence website: http://www.getthru.govt.nz/web/GetThru.nsf

By registering for the ShakeOut, you will:

  • Be part of the largest-ever earthquake drill in New Zealand!
  • Help motivate others to Get Ready and Get Thru
  • Make sure you, your family and your co-workers know what to do when the next earthquake happens.

Essential details
• Date and time: Wednesday 26 September at 9.26 am
• Drill starts: 9.26am with air-horn blast, school bell ringing, radio siren (hear it here) or  whatever arranged (please, no fire alarms)
• Action to take: DROP, COVER and HOLD
• Drill ends: Air-horns or other agreed signal means the exercise is over.

Groups may wish to discuss potential further action, had this been a real event and not a drill. You can download an observer form and a post-drill workplace discussion sheet (PDF) from the Get Thru site, which might be useful for reflecting on what went well and what didn’t.

Thanks for getting on board 🙂

What would you do in a real earthquake? Here’s the Civil Defence advice:

Drop to the ground

Cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table

Hold on to it until the shaking stops.

  • If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to go outside.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Drive carefully and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
  • If you are within a tsunami zone on the coast, then move inland or to higher ground as soon as possible.

Video

Kids know best video via Get Thru

A classroom of kiwi kids answer the question ‘what is an earthquake?’ then they show us how to DROP – COVER – HOLD

NZ Get Thru – kids know best YouTube

Related articles

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Damage to shop front Christchurch, February 2011. Image Robyn Moore

  • 7 August 2013, First night at Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral – The opening of the new cardboard cathedral was celebrated last night, with the first of 10 performances by the Christchurch City Choir,as part of the Joyfully Un-Munted Festival. The $5.3 million temporary cathedral can host 700 people and has been built to last 50 years.
  • 29 July 2013, Emergency architecture – Christchurch’s cardboard cathedral – The Cardboard Cathedral is a significant rebuild project for the CBD, and as the name suggests, the structure is substantially cardboard – a world first. The Transitional Cathedral temporarily replaces the original badly damaged Cathedral in Latimer Square.
  • 26 July 2013, Court of Appeal rules on Cathedral’s fate  – TVNZ news story on the Court’s decision to allow the iconic cathedral to be demolished and rebuilt, without obligation to replicate the original.
  • 21 July 2013, Two severe earthquakes strike central New Zealand – damage to Wellington and Eastern Marlborough
  • 1 March 2013, Christchurch Urban Village Project finalists chosen  – The four finalists of the Breathe – Urban Village Project competition were announced in Christchurch last night by Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson.Village greens, vege gardens and vibrant laneways are among the features presented by entrants. (The Press – stuff.co.nz)
  • 22 February 2013, Canterbury marks two years since quake  Hundreds turn out to the official ceremony in Christchurch, marking the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake (Radio NZ National)
  • 22 February 2013, Live – Christchurch quake second anniversary – Photo gallery: Two years on from Christchurch’s disastrous earthquake, remembering those lost and looking to the future (stuff.co.nz)
  • 1 February 2013, Wellingtonians invited to briefing on policy changes around earthquake prone buildings – 5th February meeting at Michael Fowler Centre. Public consultation on the Government’s proposed changes closes 8 March. Submissions to dbh.govt.nz
  • 24 January 2013, Earthquake prone building threshold should remain at current level – says Wellington Chamber of Commerce (wecc.org.nz)
  • 20 December 2012, Zoning decision appeal lost – Minister Brownlee acted unlawfully in use of powers when he should have ‘reasonably considered alternatives’ – ruling upheld by Court of Appeal (nzherald.co.nz)
  • 13 November 2012, Kapiti and Hutt out in front on emergency preparedness (stuff.co.nz)
  • 11 November 2012, Most of 158 buildings unlikely to be in CTV league – Govt (radionz.co.nz)
  • 11 November 2012, EQC welcomes admission of false insurance claims (radionz.co.nz)
  • 10 November 2012, Christchurch earthquake archive of news and images from NZ Herald (nzherald.co.nz)
  • 8 November 2012, Red-zone clearance to accelerate next year (stuff.co.nz)
  • 4 November 2012, Archbishop of Canterbury stunned by Christchurch damage (nzherald.co.nz)
  • 4 September 2012, Being the best at preparing for the worst (stuff.co.nz)
  • 1 August 2012, Christchurch Press – Christchurch businesses forced out of the central city after the February 2011 earthquake are queuing up to return. Several key tenants, including law firm Duncan Cotterill with 120 staff, have said they are keen to shift their workforces back as new office space becomes available.
  • 30 July 2012, Stuff – Rebuild plan for Christchurch unveiled 
  • 20 July 2012, Wellington City Council News –  a collaborative project is underway, which will see architecture students from Victoria University come up with design concepts for the seismic upgrade of buildings on Cuba Street. Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust are supporting the project. 
  • 14 June 2012, Radio NZ National  The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has secured another year of reinsurance cover, for all of New Zealand, with a 50% higher price tag, a smaller increase than the last. Reinsurance is a major issue for the commission, as it is for private insurers. The fund was at $6 billion before the Canterbury earthquakes, and with costs estimated to reach $12.5 billion, there is a shortfall to deal with. Insurance covers most of this, while taxpayers will contribute close to $1.5 billion. New Zealand is unique in its coverage of land value. Hear EQC boss Ian Simpson talking with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon
  • April 30 2012, CERA News – three months extension for Red zone property owners – update from Roger Sutton.  With some 4200 people having accepted the Crown offer, the Government and CERA are offering an extension to assist those who have yet to decide on which of the two options is best for their situation. Option 1 has the Crown purchase the property based on the most recent rating valuation for land, buildings and fixtures, taking over all insurance claims for damage. In Option 2, the Crown buys the property at its most recent land rating valuation, thus taking over the EQC claim for land damage only – property owners will need to deal with EQC and their private insurer to settle claims for damage to their buildings and fixtures
  • March 30 2012, EQC News – On a global scale, what we’re doing is right up there. Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2005 was the costliest natural disasters in history, resulting in roughly the same number of insurance claims as the number we have received from our customers. – EQC Chief Exec Ian Simpson commenting on the news that $3 billion has been paid out to claimants, of a total $12 billion liability (690,000 claims) – making the Canterbury EQ the second costliest insured disaster in history, close on the heels of Hurricane Katrina 
  • March 23 2012, CERA News – more homes in red zone – 251 Avon river border properties re-zoned from orange to red
  • March 23 2012, My Property updated – search your address to find the land zone and technical category that applies to your Canterbury property 
  • March 22 2012, Ziln TV News – NZ Herald – Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Labour MP/affected Christchurch Resident Lianne Dalziel – supplementary questions on red zone decisions
  • March 2 2012, Business Day – Christchurch CBD red zone – more time needed
  • March 2 2012, Stuff – Christ Church Cathedral’s fate decided
  • February 17 2012, Stuff – a council report into Wellington’s resilience finds the city’s economy would take a near $40 billion hit, should it suffer an event like the Christchurch earthquake. Some key businesses and services – including government – may vacate Wellington permanently. Costs to strengthen private un-reinforced buildings to comply with the building code (and create a safer city) are estimated at half a billion dollars. Read more
  • February 17 2012, CERA News – Riccarton Road building under cordon, as structural integrity is investigated.
  • February 10 2012, CERA News – Residential zoning changes announced by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister. Gerry Brownlee – “CERA progress is nothing short of commendable.” Cera’s Roger Sutton – “Positive things going on in the community” – “like Gapfiller’s bicycle-powered cinema” (see cinema cycle-power in action on YouTube)…Brownlee suggested he’s “coming back for the slow-motion films…” Also, insurance workshops are up and running and “universally useful.” See the briefing on YouTube CERA media briefing 10 February – Roger Sutton and Gerry Brownlee
  • February 4 2012, Radio NZ News – The official death toll of the February earthquake has risen to 184, after a ruling by the Chief Coroner that the deaths of three elderly women were the result of complications from quake injuries
  • February 4 2012, Radio NZ News – Two new grants from Red Cross, for people still being affected by the Christchurch quakes.
  • February 4 2012, The Press “Police investigate Bexley burglaries” – Thieves have targeted chattels in red-zoned homes being demolished.
  • February 1 2012, Rebuild Christchurch – Christchurch company, Fabrum Solutions, has secured a major international contract to supply parts for a drilling product designed in Timaru.
  • January 27 2012, CERA News Cantabrians are reminded to have their say on how they want to rebuild Christchurch’s city centre” – Property and business owners, tenants and customers can give CERA their feedback online at www.centralcitystudy.org.nz. The survey aims to capture property owners’ and users’ intentions so CERA can help government and Council to action the Draft Christchurch Central City Plan. Survey results are to be presented to CERA in February.
  • January 19 2012, NZ HeraldCoke puts $29m into quake-hit ChristchurchCoca-Cola Amatil, stationery firmOfficeMax and SOE Meridian Energy – all making significant investments in the city since the quakes.
  • January 15 2012, Stuff “Quakes push up estuary bed” – Overall, the bed has risen by 14cm, shrinking the area of the estuary covered by water by around 50 hectares”
  • January 15 2012, The PressDisrupted sleep anyone? – The fourth 5.0 plus magnitude quake to shake ChCh this year – no reports of damage or injury
  • January 13 2012, Stuff Christchurch City pupils achieve best NCEA results” 
  • January 13 2012, The Star – Canterbury Cera’s CEO Roger Sutton talks about the recent swarm of aftershocks and responds to some (outside) commentators”
  • January 11 2012, Rebuild Christchurch “New grant for Canterbury businesses” Posted by RecoverCanterbury
  • January 11 2012, Stuff Christchurch, one of NZ’s most exciting cities – Lonely Planet” What to do in Christchurch? – your post-quake guide
  • January 10 2012Healthy Christchurch “22 February 2012 Commemorative events now confirmed”
  • December 31 2011, Geonet “NZ Earthquake Report – Magnitude 4.8, Saturday, December 31 2011 at 1:44 pm (NZDT), 10 km east of Christchurch”
  • December 24 2011, Rebuild Christchurch “Rebuild Christchurch – Civil Defence Update Number 6” Posted in CERA/Govt , Christchurch City CouncilRecent Quakes
  • December 21 2011, www.cera.govt.nz/support-and-assistance “Information on Support Services – ranging from counselling services to assistance with temporary accommodation for those whose homes are not currently habitable”
  • December 21 2011, CERA “Update from Roger Sutton, Chief Executive”
  • December 3 2011, Herald Sun “Wellington, South Island rocked by quake” (heraldsun.com.au)
  • November 28 2011, Foreign Policy “16 Global Cities to Watch: From Singapore to Christchurch, the urban centers that are shaping the next century” – Photo essay rating Christchurch as a city with “a unique opportunity to rethink urban form”
  • October 23 2011, The CEISMIC Project “Digital archive of people’s earthquake experiences officially launched”
  • October 19 2011, Stuff “Just 45 minutes away from Armageddon – Allan Freeth”
  • October 18 2011, Stuff “Rotary Forum – Bollard says Wellington can learn from Canterbury quakes”
  • December 15 2011, NZ Herald “Building up to another construction boom”
  • October 19 2011, NZ Herald “Bollard highlights costs of safety”
  • October 18 2011, Businessweek “NZ quake rebuild to stoke growth, inflation – Alan Bollard”
  • October 10 2011, Scoop “Seismic risk raises major questions for Wellington – Rotary and VUW hosting seismic risk conference”
  • June 6 2011, Wellington City Council News “Civil Defence Volunteers numbers swell” – 53 civil defence volunteers graduate in Wellington Wednesday 8 June. Mayor – Wellington vastly better prepared than a year ago
  • March 4 2011, Scoop “Press Release – Rotary helps earthquake victims in Christchurch”
  • February 23 2011, Stuff “Christchurch Quake (Feb 22) – first images”

Canterbury Earthquake – good information here:

Aftermath of September 4th Earthquake in Chris...

Image via Wikipedia

One Stop Shock – Earthquake recovery information sheet (PDF) from the good folk at healthychristchurch.org.nz. Print it and keep handy.

Radio NZ National

Canterburyearthquake.org.nz

Christchurch Earthquake (archive – no longer updated)

Rebuild Christchurch News Archive (regularly updated)

CERA News (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority)

Civil Defence (New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management www.civildefence.govt.nz)

For information on grants go to www.redcrosseqgrants.org.nz

Applications for the Independent Advice for Small Business grant (announced 11 Jan 2012) are available through Recover Canterbury.  A business wanting to apply for the grant can contact Recover Canterbury on 0800 50 50 96 or at www.recovercanterbury.co.nz.

Government Hotline for emergency assistance: 0800 779 997

For local emergencies: 111

Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS): 0800 6732 27

Christchurch City Council customer services: 03 941 8999 – for help with essential council services like as water supply and sewage disposal.

Earthquake Commission (EQC): 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243) 
For information on EQC’s insurance cover, cleaning up and making a claim.

Links

Container shops Christchurch CBD open for Christmas trading 2011 - Image by Brett Atkinson, Lonely Planet
Related Articles (Themes of the Rotary Forum – thefaultlineforum.com)

Image via Richard Ballantyne