Manukau Courier : March 10th 2011
3 MANUKAU COURIER, MARCH 10, 2011 NEWS WALK2WORK DAY Increase the walking part of your commute! Walk on Walk2Wo rk Day and you could win fantastic prize packs. Wednesday, March 16 Attend this Walk2Work event & enter a prize draw to win $200 Ziera shoes vouchers Free Breakfast Event! 7.00am - 9.00am Botany Town Centre Town Centre Drive Botany Go to: www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz to find out what is happening near you. W2WS-AT-0311 the outlying bases 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. Auckland would be heavily reliant on air support in similar circumstances. Quake: Inset: How would Auckland fare in similar circumstances? 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 ... ' Clive Manley Civil Defence boss Titirangi. Emergency ser- vices in Rodney were kept especially busy through the night attending a number of alarms triggered by the shake-up and coastal residents feared a tsunami might be on its way. 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. Plate windows cracked, plaster crumbled from ceilings and people fled as their brick buildings rumbled. The Richter scale was not developed until 1935 so it is impossible to accurately esti- mate the quake s magnitude. But the tremors were felt as far away as Cambridge in the south and up in the northern Wairoa. Various sub- urbs surround- ing the main city centre were also affected -- most notably Otahuhu where the public school was evacuated. We can t hide behind history, Mr Booth says. Christchurch did that to an understandable 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 Auck- land 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 absolutely 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 caus- ing 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 might 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 carried out on many of them through normal consenting processes and also volun- tarily by building owners. 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 dependent on where the problems occur. He says they have also been strengthening infra- structure over a number of years in anticipation of disas- ter. Auckland is a larger city and damage will be depen- dent on the soil types, depth and size of the earthquake. Looking at what happened in Christchurch, there are parts of the city that are not affec- ted as much. Auckland is larger geographically and it has more people. It also has more resources that it can call on and, because of its size, more areas that will not be affected. However I don t want to appear too optimistic and stress that people still need to be able to look after them- selves and their neighbours if they are cut off. Resources will be limited in any large emergency and individuals, families and communities should be pre- pared. We recommend that everybody in Auckland has a survival kit with items listed at www.getthru.govt.nz. Mr Manley says an Earth- quake Prone Building regis- ter is now being put together and will include information collated by all of the region s councils before 2010. Train fares to increase Train fares go up from Sunday around Auck- land. Ticket price rises range from 10 cents for a one-stage trip to 50 cents for eight stages. Auckland Transport says the increase is to cover the extra $8 million it s costing to pro- vide 421 additional train services each week. Customer fares are heavily subsidised by Auckland Transport and the New Zealand Trans- port Agency. Go to www.maxx.co.nz for more information.
March 8th 2011
March 11th 2011