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Thread: Doubts about the natural hazards

  1. #1
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    Question Doubts about the natural hazards

    Hi,
    I feel so sorry for what happened in Christchurch and Japan lately, I pray that ppl affected recover well and less disaster in future, but it'd be better to know more about it and prepare myself since I'm planning to migrate to NZ.

    After reading some news abt these recent disasters, I found that most of the people in places get hit by earthquake or tsunami don't get any alarm before it happens, most of them mentioned they were having lunch, at work and the big earthquake suddenly hits. As I've been living in a country earthquake free, I always thought there will be some forecast or alarm for people before a BIG earthquake hits, seems that it's not the case. Is that true? and what are the things ppl can do to protect themselves and reduce the risk? I saw many ppl say they dive under table when earthquake hits, is it a correct way to protect yourself? and is there anything you'll check regarding to this when you buy a house? Any resource I can find the info?

    From somewhere in this forum, I read the information that Auckland is less likely to get hit by serious earthquake and tsunami compared to Wellington? Is that true? and is alarm for volcano is more accurate compared to earthquake and tsunami?

  2. #2
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    Here is a selection of websites. I found all these by Googling, and there are more out there that you could follow up if you wish.

    http://resources.ccc.govt.nz/files/E...vildefence.pdf
    http://www.geonet.org.nz/volcano/our...nic-field.html
    http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/Learning/...-s-Fault-Lines
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/earthquakes/4

    I would add, there is nothing CERTAIN when human beings try to second-guess, predict or manage huge natural phenomena.

  3. #3
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    I think Christchurch is an interesting case. Before last year's quake no one considered Christchurch at risk of earthquakes, so even planning for known risks will not guarantee safety. I lived in Auckland for 20 years and never heard of a quake there, but all NZ children get taught what to do in the event of a quake. I'm sure there are plenty of resources on the internet with the information and I strongly recommend potential migrants to read it. (edited to add: I see some helpful links have been posted above).

    I am moving to NZ to be with family, but if I had the world at my feet, I would be avoiding areas that are known earthquake risks. Experts are not able to predict quakes yet, so the risks are real. There are other natural disasters to bear in mind, and of course another unpredictable risk is terrorism. My NZ family worry about me being in London because of terrorist risks. Pollution in some cities may also be a risk, as can extreme weather, bush fires etc. As you can see you have to consider widely to assess risk in different areas, assuming that your choice is wide in the first place. It may be that at the end of the day your home country is the safest available to you. The next question might be, are the other things that attract you to your target country enough to take a risk and move there?
    Last edited by johampton; 26th March 2011 at 03:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    you probably should worry about the snatch thief or road bully in KL more than an Earthquake in here, to be honest

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johampton View Post
    Before last year's quake no one considered Christchurch at risk of earthquakes
    That is plainly wrong!!!

    As I wrote in other posts and threads there is - and has been - the consideration of earthquakes ALLOVER NZ!

    Check NZS 1170 for details.

    The particular section will be of course updated after evaluation of the current earthquakes since September last year has finished.

  6. #6
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    http://www.getthru.govt.nz/web/GetTh...F?opendocument

    This is the site that advises what you should do to counteract natural hazards in NZ.

    There is no known forecasting method for earthquakes which works, just probabilities, based on the knowledge that scientists have....which is not complete (they knew about neither faults which have recently caused the earthquakes in Canterbury). Volcanoes normally give indicators in the days before eruption and the major tsunami hazard in Pegasus Bay (Christchurch area) is reckoned to be from earthquakes off the Americas coast. However, general advice in NZ is, that if shaking lasts for 15-20 secs or longer you should evacuate beach areas and move inland or to higher ground.

    Christchurch has always been at risk of the effects of earthquakes from the known faults surrounding it...what wasn't appreciated were the unknown faults that lie beneath the sedimentary surface....which are currently being located. The major risk to Chch was thought to be the Alpine Fault generating a large quake (M8) and that would have given similar energy release to that experienced, by the smaller more local occurrences.

    NZ is on a very active part of the earth's crust. There are certain areas where more activity is expected than others, but basically it could happen anywhere due to its situation on top of the tectonic plates. The earth gives us the fantastic scenery, but there is a reason that it is as beautiful as this!

    The get thru site gives you an indication of the risks faced and what you can do to improve your circumstances should the worst occur. I thought it was overkill...but we at least had the water and some food in place after the last EQ...we also had camping gear etc. But our experiences have taught us quite a bit about where we should locate stuff and what else we might need in the event of a larger occurrence.
    Last edited by Mamee & Co; 26th March 2011 at 10:42 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JandM View Post
    I would add, there is nothing CERTAIN when human beings try to second-guess, predict or manage huge natural phenomena.
    Generally supported! And this makes part of our profesion so interesting - and challenging - as we attempt to deal with that: Evaluation of probabilities and consequences and as their combination risks. Following that to design and to construct safe structures within the limits of our society's context.


    And of course the web site of our Civil Defence http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    That is plainly wrong!!!

    .
    I beg your pardon for being so ignorant. A bit more tact would have been nice though.
    Last edited by johampton; 26th March 2011 at 11:42 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by johampton View Post
    I beg your pardon for being so ignorant. A bit more tact would have been nice though.
    Sorry! But it is one thing being ignorant and a complete different one to spread false statements.

    I am annoyed by reading over and over again that we did wrong or nothing at all. Our profession has been accused a lot since September 2010 and especially since February 2011.

    So yes, I personally felt offended...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    Sorry! But it is one thing being ignorant and a complete different one to spread false statements.

    I am annoyed by reading over and over again that we did wrong or nothing at all. Our profession has been accused a lot since September 2010 and especially since February 2011.

    So yes, I personally felt offended...
    You had no reason to be offended- she didn't say anyone did wrong, just that she thought ppl didn't consider Chch an earthquake risk prior to recent events. I think it's true that the general population didn't consider it a quake risk zone (I didn't, neither did anyone I've discussed this with since ...), but as you say we now know this was a public misconception.

    The Canterbury quakes have certainly made me much more aware of the quake risk all over NZ- and I used to live in Hawkes Bay!

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