The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has reminded Kiwis to take necessary steps to prepare for a damaging earthquake before it hits, following a 5.9 magnitude quake off Bay of Plenty this week.
The quake was one of many earthquakes over the last 12 months that have been widely felt but have caused little damage.
“These shakes are a good reminder that our land is restless,” Renee Walker, deputy chief executive at EQC, told Sunlive.co.nz. “One of the most important things we can do as New Zealanders is pay attention to these reminders and take preparedness steps that will make our homes safer and stronger when a damaging quake hits.”
GeoNet, a geological hazard monitoring device sponsored by the EQC, revealed that around 20,000 earthquakes occur in and around the country each year – with 250 of those large enough to be felt by people.
Walker warned that the country’s next damaging earthquake could happen anytime – “and the instant it does, our opportunity to prepare ends.”
“Most New Zealanders spend the majority of their time at home. So when a damaging quake hits, you’re more likely to be there than anywhere else,” she said. “If you’re at home you certainly don’t want large items of furniture toppling over because they haven’t been secured, a hazardous chimney collapsing through the roof because it hasn’t been removed, or your home slipping from its foundations because they haven’t been secured.”
She added that the Be Prepared information on EQC’s website could help Kiwis learn about many ways to prepare for earthquakes – from smaller steps such as securing fragile household items to bigger steps such as removing hazardous tall concrete and brick chimneys.