Quakes – Day 3

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, November 16th, 2016 - 75 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

For discussing the quakes and the aftermath.

Here is today’s RNZ update and key facts:
Ships head to Kaikoura with supplies after New Zealand’s 7.5 magnitude quake, see also:
Day three: Ships join Kaikoura rescue efforts

And The Herald:
Live: State of emergency declared across Canterbury following 7.5 magnitude earthquake

See this excellent post by Geonet Director Dr Ken Gledhill:
A Message from GeoNet’s Director: Responding to the Monster

Because we do not have a 24/7 monitoring centre we have to wake people and get them out of bed to look at complex data and make serious calls very quickly. It is not an ideal situation given the past few months and I’d like to change that by getting support for a 24/7 monitoring centre for geohazards. I’m going to be blatant in my campaigning for this, because I think we need a 24/7 monitoring centre to respond to these kinds of events.

What makes GeoNet a world class geohazards monitoring system is not our instruments (as much as I love the technology), but our people. When people send kind words via social media or emails or phone calls, my staff feel that support deeply, so thank you.

Another heartfelt Thank You to the Geonet team!

And finally (for now) – another really useful piece from RNZ – read it if you are one of those affected:
Making an EQC claim: What you need to know


75 comments on “Quakes – Day 3”

  1. Keith 1

    Is it correct the RNZAF have only 4 available helicopters and if so why do we possess so few? Its far from ideal especially given our recent disaster history.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 1.1

      The thinking at the time the 90s was purchased was because its load carrying capacity is higher than the old iroquois, that we can mubble along with just 7 machines.

      From memory one of the old Muldoon defence white papers said New Zealand needed 18 iroquois for all its taskings. We’ve got 6 light choppers, 5 sea sprites and 7 NH90s from memory, I’m happy to be corrected. So that’s 18 machines. It’s not ideal because it’s a mixed fleet but I look at it as an essential learning curve to see what works for developing an over all capability that fights today’s battles rather than yesterday’s.

  2. Ad 2

    Great use of warships there.

    • mauī 2.1

      The Navy couldn’t hope for better PR. Thunderbirds are go.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        ha ha ha I needed a laugh with all the disaster-hype in the media. The Mole would be useful on SH1 at the moment.

        Meanwhile as warships from several international fleets steam towards Kaikoura to rescue plucky tourists suffering terribly from intermittent cellphone coverage…..

        p.s. don’t tell anyone but the inland road will be open tomorrow or Friday.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          @Bearded Git
          Don’t be too cynical. They are all short of water and possibly food. The sea is disturbed and no doubt fish are too. Tourists sleeping in their rental cars because of concern about building collapse. They have spent a lot of money to get here and have transport to catch and responsibilities to attend to.

          • Bearded Git 2.1.1.1.1

            Moi? They will be able to drive their rental cars out by the weekend. My point is that it’s not exactly Aleppo or Mosul. Nobody is going the slightest bit hungry or thirsty. Water will be restored to 75% of Kaikoura today, which is such an awful place to get stranded in.

            It’s about perspective not media bollocks.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.1

              +1000. Tourists have spent a lot of money, now governments are going to spend a lot of money expediting their rescue from a pretty stable situation? I have no problem with the best way that can be done, but tourists need to understand that travel includes risks. In NZ that’s quakes amongst other things. We live in the age of climate change, so my point doubly applies. Meanwhile, there are people in NZ without adequate housing and food on a long term basis. I know where I’d prefer the resources were going.

              • greywarshark

                Cripes you two. Keep control of your protesting instincts. Tourism is a main business, by all means let’s try to get a better business that is as big and employs as many, even if they are on the same lowish wages, but in the meantime try to think like practical minded citizens and look after our customers.

                Or why don’t you set up a disaster tourism business that take adventurous people over NZ, sliding down screes, crawling through caves etc. I hope those companies that do this are forced to pay risk insurance premiums so that the gummint doesn’t have to bale them out.

                In the meantime don’t be such careless smart asses about the good people that pay to come here and keep some real money coming to us. As you say we have needs here, so don’t kill the golden goose.

                • The New Student

                  Just…wow! Tourists are people too. No point in having them hang around (especially if they have no money left to spend?) Get them out of the way, get them home.

                • weka

                  Lol, all good grey. I’d say it’s not so much a golden goose as a cash cow – getting older and being propped up on steroids. In which case, let’s be kinder to the cow and its ecosystem as we find more sustainable ways make a living.

                  In the age of climate change tourism itself is a disaster. I’d like us to stop saying we have no choice. And I’d like us to stop talking about tourism as if climate change is something happening in the future instead of us standing in the middle of it now. When the front of the house is well on fire, we don’t go round the back of the house and tell those having a barbie in the yard to finish up with their fun and then come join us.

          • Bearded Git 2.1.1.1.2

            RNZ just reported that the inland road to Kaikoura is now open to army 4WD vehicles which can deliver water and supplies, not that water is needed. It will be open to the public at the weekend.

            So much for the warships.

  3. gsays 3

    Not sure if this is the right place, however, re the earthquakes, two words: chinese steel.
    I understand aotearoa makes some if the best steel in the world.
    But kiwis love a bargain and in the race to the bottom we are choosing to use a cheaper product.

    If, in the future, buidings or infrastructure fails due to steel, white collar folk must do jail time.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    I was taken by Key warbling about rebuilding roads in ‘new locations’ rather than repairing the existing ones. That may be a good idea to upgrade to SH standard other inland routes as well as rebuild the main coastal highway.
    But its a financial dodge as well, repairing roadway and removing slips on SH is an operational expense so takes money from surplus, but building a new highway in a different location is ‘investment’ so is not counted against the surplus in the accounting books.

    Are we being set up for a fancy book keeping exercise, so the surplus is saved for next years tax cuts at election time ?

    • Andre 4.1

      Fuck me you’ve got a suspicious mind. I like the way you think.

    • dv 4.2

      The road via murchison is an extra 1.5 hrs. Mind you murchison has history!!!

      • weka 4.2.1

        “Mind you murchison has history!!!”

        Like big earthquakes?

        I know this is la la land, but imagine if we had a government that understood sustainable and resilient futureproofing. Time for an audit of all infrastructure and collective national and regional interest needs based on the shakey isles in a time of CC. May as well start with the top of the SI.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Wouldn’t surprise me from this government.

    • Infused 4.4

      No. You’re just being stupid.

      Why repair a road that has over 100 serious slips on it with damage tunnels, road and rail?

      If it can be moved to a better location, then do it.

      • Andre 4.4.1

        I’ll be really interested in what “better location” gets proposed. In the meantime, if you’d care to look at some topographical maps and suggest a better route yourself, go nuts.

  5. adam 5

    The media are so obviously fawning over Key again, it’s sickening. They seem to use the pain and suffering of people to puff him up.

    I’d like to also thank the Aussies and Canadians Navies for helping out as well, it seems sections of the media have forgotten that, falling over themselves to praise the yanks.

  6. The Chairman 7

    It’s time the Kāpiti Coast District Council took its responsibility of protecting its citizens seriously and install a comprehensive tsunami siren warning system along the Kāpiti Coast.

    https://www.change.org/p/kapiti-coast-district-council-install-tsunami-warning-sirens-on-the-k%C4%81piti-coast

    • Michelle 7.1

      Its time the Hutt City Council did something about the Hutt River its been overflowing for years now they need to get on with the business and fix it

  7. greywarshark 8

    Good story on Waiau from the Guardian. Incidentally those that thing that the Guardian is something good, they are asking for subscriptions.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/15/surviving-in-waiau-the-forgotten-town-closest-to-the-nz-quake-epicentre

  8. greywarshark 9

    Liked this video from the Guardian of the cows that ended up on a postage stamp sized island in the middle of a slip.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/nov/15/new-zealand-cows-owner-tells-of-earthquake-rescue-video

  9. mauī 10

    The u-turn on fixing SH1 begins… Can we get someone knowledgeable and professional talk about whether the road can be fixed, rather than suffer through this layman PM.

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86506144/mountains-have-moved-pm-john-key-flies-over-the-devastation-again

    • weka 10.1

      I’m not that person, but I’ll just keep saying climate change. It’s been a fair while since I traveled that road. How much if it is not going to survive sea level rise and can’t be rebuilt higher? What’s the cost/benefit of restoring the road now in the context of that? It might still be worth doing, but perhaps down grading the route? Slip road closures due to weather events are going to be routine and we will struggle to maintain our roading if we keep trying to do that without taking the changes into account.

      And, Key will use this to Nationals advantage for all it is worth.

      Those two things are going to make the discussion complicated.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        Well, it seems most of that coastline got a significant uplift so sea level rise isn’t much of an issue.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/86468227/how-the-quake-thrust-sea-creatures-out-of-the-water

        Any alternative routes also have to traverse rugged terrain, and are likely to be closer to the Alpine fault.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          Sure, but my point was that the government should be doing a complete audit on this in the context of climate change. Most of the coast has lifted? what about the bit that hasn’t? How high? What about adverse weather events coupled with full moons and high tides? etc. etc. etc.

          (and there will be problems with which projections of rise and timeframes to use, but I’d settle for the govt just having an integrated approach).

          • Andre 10.1.1.1.1

            Somehow I think dukeofurl has the likelier view of the approach the government will take at comment 4.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              pretty much. When I used the word government I was referring to the one in the alternate universe.

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                I think the problem was that there was no senior sirs/mames on hand to hold the PMs hand and give technical analysis when fronting cameras because there all so short staffed and had to muck in.

          • Lloyd 10.1.1.1.2

            If the coast is rising 4 m every 150 years, then sea level rise isn’t likely to affect the road.
            Question I want answered – When will Tapuaenuku be higher than Aoraki?

            • Clump_AKA Sam 10.1.1.1.2.1

              They’re 2 different events. The Hijurangi trough movers side to side, the southern alps move up and down

  10. I work for a rental car company. Truck runs transferring cars to/from various locations in the upper South Island are on ice until further notice because of the quakes. Also can’t get cars out of a number of locations.

    Its going to be Christmas at least before State Highway One shows much progress, never mind reopening it. Spoke to a lady today whose son is a contractor who is working up there – the hill slopes from which the landslides came are going to have to be sluiced of loose debris, then stabilized before the road can reopen and she said don’t ask for a timetable…

    https://willnewzealandberight.com/2016/11/16/the-long-journey-repairing-quake-damaged-roads-and-railway/

  11. Jilly Bee 12

    Here we go folks – ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki has spewed forth his hypothesis regarding the devastation early on Monday morning. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11749215
    Honestly I didn’t whether to laugh or scream.

  12. b waghorn 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11749215

    holy shit tamaki is crazy. gays caused the earthquakes according to him

    • Pasupial 13.1

      If I understand him correctly (which admittedly implies that he’s not just spouting gibberish), it was not the “gays” themselves, but rather a loving God that caused the earthquakes. Hmmm…

      Also, I know it was a rural part of the South Island, but this seems an odd note on which to end the article:

      God also warns men not to have sex with varying people including, but not limited to, women with their period, animals, or their sister.

  13. tsmithfield 14

    I am seriously worried for Wellington given the amount of damage already and there hasn’t even been a decent shake there yet.

    After our experience in Christchurch with the red zone, I suspect a lot of the problems with buildings in Wellington that are built on reclaimed land. It doesn’t really matter how well the buildings are built if the land underneath is rubbish.

    • lprent 14.1

      It doesn’t really matter how well the buildings are built if the land underneath is rubbish.

      Pretty much correct. For that matter the same thing applies for most of central Auckland, which is largely built on the last two centuries rubbish tips.

      You can fix it with engineering in the foundations. However the standards have had to keep being revised every decade to more robust forms ever since 1931 as the experience of what happens in earthquakes has been tested around the world. Many of the buildings are simply not up to spec for even a local minor earthquake. Christchurch proved that.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        I hope you all keep safe up there.

        We didn’t get the wave from the 7.8 quake as strongly as those up North. However, we still felt it as a large-prolonged shake, probably equivalent to the Darfield shake I would expect. However, since abandoning the red zone, improved foundation standards, and the loss of most old buildings, there isn’t any noticeable damage in Christchurch from the last quake.

        I am concerned about the possibility of a tsunami in the Cook Straight, given the aftershock pattern. That would be amplified by Wellington Harbour and could cause some serious damage. So, if anyone feels a major shake, then get up as high as you can as quickly as possible. I think the recommended height is 30 metres.

        I think the situation is potentially much worse for Wellington than we had in Christchurch, given the proximity to a major fault line.

        The problem is, that you can never be sure that you are safe. Aftershocks can appear to be dying away and then, bang, you are hit by another big one.

        Those in Wellington would have to live with the possibility of an 8 on the doorstep at any occasion. So, I really feel for those up there.

  14. Ad 15

    This government has now got a second opportunity to follow nature and shake the foundations of this country. And fortunately most of this stuff also works towards climate change resilience as well:

    With local governments such as Wellington, Queenstown, Napier-Hastings, Gisborne, Rotorua, and more, Key could require huge restructuring of infrastructure provision in the name of resilience:

    – more local dams, for more secure water supply
    – more EQC premiums to essentially emerge it into a built-form ACC
    – more Urban Development Authorities to force new housing to be built – when old houses or indeed old towns are really damaged, rebuild them entirely
    – more co-options of major construction companies

    In governance and execution, with:
    – a permament recovery role for the military
    – no more budget surpluses or tax cuts for the foreseeable future
    – an enhanced relationship between DPMC, Civil Defence, and the military
    – pulling the pin on Kiwirail as a company and merging its remaining assets into NZTA
    – further subsidies to business to sustain them through the worst of times
    – have a really serious look at whether Wellington really is the right place for a capital
    – force a full Emergency and Recovery plan for the entire South Island, in preparation for when an Richter 8 or 9 really unzips the Alpine Fault
    – winnow out all major building owners; can’t afford the code, sell up and get out of town

    This earthquake series is going to be with us for years, from Kaikoura to Wellington. Years.

    Key is so good at handling crisis now he looks like George Foreman in his forties going in the ring for another easy whack.

    But Mr Key, while you make it look easy, don’t waste a crisis.

    • Robertina 15.1

      Key could do a lot of things, like killing the Bill that would severely limit councils’ ability to do the things you’re advocating. It’s been put off until next year because of opposition to it, so it might be dead in the water, but it shows where the Govt wants to go, and that isn’t towards regional infrastructure spending.

      And remember: “Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out” (Anton Chekhov).

      • Ad 15.1.1

        He could kill the bill, and simply get his Departments – or indeed companies – to do most of those functions. My bet is he sees – as only a pragmatist can – that only the state redistributes lifeline services the way the public needs in an emergency.

        Chekhov’s definition of a crisis was a broken engagement in haute-bourgeoise land.

    • Muttonbird 15.2

      It has just become apparent to me you are a political lunatic along the lines of CV.

      Perhaps your writing privileges will be revoked in the same way before long.

      • Ad 15.2.1

        Because this has hit Wellington and in particular the bureaucracy, it will have at least as big an impact on the bureaucracy as Christchurch did. We already have NZDF, SIS, GCSB, MoT, and Dept of Stats looking for new premises. There will guaranteed be more.

        The building that houses the NZDF, SIS and GCSB was a serious piece of concrete built barely a decade ago. Those are departments that require quite specific building fitouts and capacities for obvious reasons.

        MoT under this government serve no function except whatever pops into the Minister’s head after his last junket to Uber or Hyundai or Tesla. They are ripe for merger.

        DPMC are turning into the government within government, supplanting Treasury as the repository of robust advice that binds all bids under a single law.

        So trust me, I know what I’m talking about because I know the system well and I observe it better than most.

        As for “political lunatic”, the thinking I expressed up there is the same kind of daring you used to find in any Labour government. Now, Key leading National has it all in his hands to do with what he will.

    • adam 15.3

      Are we looking at the same guy Ad. He’s looking more than a little punch drunk.

  15. Muttonbird 16

    Does anyone find it disturbing that a prime minister who is “so good at handling crisis now he looks like George Foreman in his forties going in the ring for another easy whack” would stand by while the Chinese Embassy takes all the available helicopters in the region to ferry out their citizens before the New Zealand government can splutter a number 8 wire excuse?

  16. Adrian 17

    Just like last time there is plenty of spare capacity to sort problems out within hours
    6 choppers for the Chinese is fuck all, on a frost night we can have 50 to 70 in the air in the area around Blenheim and Seddon, just 20 minutes flight up the road.
    There’s just not the political will or expertise to do it.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 17.1

      You can only join official humanitarian and disaster relief operations if you are a member of NZDF/Police/Fire and a number of other skilled pros like surveyors/engineers or any others who participate in and qualify through scheduled drills.

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