Eastern Courier : March 11th 2011
3 EASTERN COURIER, MARCH 11, 2011 NEWS TM Kitchen Tel: 272 8252 Fax: 272 8661 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org 9 Barmac Place, East Tamaki www.tangming.co.nz Showroom Open Hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat 10.30am-3.30pm WHERE GREAT KITCHENS ALWAYS COST LESS! KITCHEN VANITY LAUNDRY WARDROBES 3387470AA the outlying units QUAKE BRIEF: HOW PREPARED IS AUCKLAND? Helping hand: The police helicopter Eagle has helped with night and day patrols of Christchurch. Pictured is senior constable tactical crew member Bazza Gallagher. Quake: How would Auckland fare in similar circumstances (top)? Photo: FIONA GOODALL WHAT DO YOU THINK? FROM Page 2 Are we ready for the big one? What do you think? Email your letters to email@example.com ' Auckland is a larger city and damage will be dependent on the soil types ... ' Civil defence boss Clive Manley organisations across the region became one. Old bases in areas like the former Waitakere, North Shore and Manukau cities still exist though the bulk of staff would be deployed as part of the centralisation plan. The source, whose CV includes 34 years of emerg- ency work in Christchurch and Auckland, fears the day the new system is put to the test. You need to have outlying units in times of disaster,'' he says. You can't run every- thing from one site. There has to be a community response with people immedi- ately on the ground in affec- ted areas. Our survival depends on it. Air support just won't cut it and precious time will be wasted trying to organise it. Everyone knows that it is vital to get people medi- cal attention in that first golden hour -- it's all down hill after that.'' Similar concerns are raised by long time investigative journalist Pat Booth who still has vivid memories of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan and the aftermath that he reported on after visiting the city a year later to wit- ness its recovery efforts. The Leigh resident says Aucklanders can't afford to be complacent or think them- selves outside of nature's reach in terms of shifting tec- tonic plates. Authorities say the risk of a major earthquake is low but history shows the region is not immune. A cluster of three quakes measuring 3.7, 4.5 and 3.8 on the Richter scale occurred 30km east off the coast of Orewa in February 2007. The tremors rocked residents liv- ing right across Auckland between 8.24pm and 11.23pm on a Wednesday evening. Damage was minimal but the jolts sent a wave of panic through people as far away as Titirangi. Auckland's forefathers also cowered at nature's unpre- dictable might in 1891 when a quake rattled the main cen- tral business district for a drawn out 30-second stretch. The tremors were felt as far away as Cambridge in the south and up in the Northern Wairoa. Various suburbs surround- ing the main city centre were also affected -- most notably Otahuhu where the public school was evacuated. We can't hide behind his- tory,'' Mr Booth says. Christ- church did that to an under- standable degree -- not any more. Nor should we.'' Mr Manley moves quickly to allay concerns and says Civil Defence has worked with its partners to explore every possible scenario likely to be faced by Aucklanders. He says the organisation has the same staff numbers as it did before the birth of the supercity and is operating off an identical budget. Two vacancies incurred through retirement are now in the process of being filled. We have 37 paid staff dedicated to Civil Defence and can draw on about 300 trained people from within the Auckland Council,'' he says. We also have extensive volunteer networks in areas like the North Shore, west and Manukau.'' Two existing buildings at Elcoat Ave in Henderson and East Coast Rd, Mairangi Bay are fully equipped to function as alternative headquarters if the Pitt St base is ever rendered useless, he says. The organisation has updated its telecommuni- cations equipment, satellite phones and VHF radio gear and could also operate out of a makeshift site. We could start from scratch if we had to using the mobile sort of equipment that our staff are equipped with. I believe a base could be set up in a warehouse or something similar in about one hour. All of our facilities are transferr- able.'' Mr Manley says no natural disaster is likely to knock out all of the city's bridges and roads. State Highway 18 would still offer a vehicular con- nection to the North Shore if the main Auckland and Upper Harbour bridges were disabled and access by sea is also part of the strategy. It might take a little longer but there would still be access,'' he says. It's just not conceivable that abso- lutely everything would be knocked out in a city so big.'' Liquefaction is another story. Auckland's landscape differs from the terrain in Christchurch which is dominated by a large river basin that contributes to the environment currently causing big problems. But a good portion of waterfront developments in the central business district is built on reclaimed land and a number of older buildings could be susceptible. Examples include the old ferry building and the former post office now redeveloped as the Britomart transport centre. The integrity of larger modern structures is less likely to be compromised. They don't just sit there on shallow foundations like some of the houses that have been affected by liquefaction in Christchurch,'' Mr Manley says. The excavations for these big buildings were huge and they have been piled into solid rock.'' But anything built before a rewrite of building code requirements during the mid 1970s is susceptible. A report in the NZ Herald on March 5 suggests up to 412 commercial buildings could collapse in a moderate quake and says details are being kept secret while city heads move to update records. Mr Manley admits some structures may need work. Auckland does not have any building currently listed as being dangerous,'' he says. We potentially have some that will require strengthen- ing.'' Work has already been car- ried out on many of them. There is some possibility of them being at risk in a big one. But the chances of that happening are remote.'' The same logic applies to sewerage, water and power. Mr Manley says a loss of all three across the entire region is highly unlikely and utility companies have contingency plans in place to cover a range of scenarios depending on where the problems occur. He says they have also been strengthening infra- structure over a number of years in anticipation of disas- ter. I don't want to appear too optimistic and stress that people still need to be able to look after themselves and their neighbours if they are cut off. We recommend that everybody in Auckland has a survival kit with items listed at www.getthru.govt.nz,'' he says. Mr Manley says an Earth- quake Prone Building regis- ter is now being put together. www.craftexpo.co.nz Make it at CraftExpo! Shop for supplies & see new, fun, crafty ideas. Plus learn in over 30 workshops daily! March 17 - 20, 2011 ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland Thursday to Sunday • 10am to 4.30pm Freecall: 0800 399 378 Admission charges apply Organised by: Supported by: First Time in Auckland!
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