September 26, 2005

Is Auckland Shot?

In the event of a major earthquake, eruption or any other major disaster how would Auckland fare?

May I paint a grim picture of our existing peak traffic flows in Auckland, if we are capable and how we would evacuate the city:

It is likely that in the event of a major earthquake, the Harbour Bridge would no longer exist, and thus the only way out of the region would be south.

The motorway would only be partially usable, due to the large parts which are actually overbridges being damaged to the point of no longer being usable.

Great South Road is a rather narrow main road that in much of its length consists of only one lane each way, north or south - at least as far south as Drury.

Much of Auckland is very soft land that in times past used to be swamp land. Anything constructed on those parts of Auckland would strongly feel the impact (of a tsunami or earthquake). [various | Google groups: nz.general]

Auckland does have a civil defence plan [pdf]. It estimates damage reports for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclone, tsunami, fire, terrorism, biological or chemical accidents, and flooding. No metion of meteorites, however. It details the 5 different emergency levels, and what happens on each level. It is a fairly detailed document, but not the document you want to read during the emergency!! Here is the document to print, staple and put in your emergency first aid kit.

As for keeping your ear on the radio, 80% of all stations out there are likely to be automated at that time, so I suggest either Radio Live, Radio Pacific, Newstalk ZB or National Radio for emergency coverage.

Whats interesting is that "Disaster Reduction Week" is coming October 9-15, and there is a very limited national radio campaign on The Rock, Kiwi, More FM, Edge (why not Radio Live or Pacific ..TRB?), Newstalk ZB (who will also integrate it through their news services), also privates IXX Whakatane and Hokonui Gold in Gore. The advertising will be based around a series of "know what it takes to survive" messages, and promoting the Civil Defence "sting". Sadly, most of these stations will only play 13 ads over the entire week! Bonanza. We're all saved!

I remember starting out in radio, putting together scripts for "in case of emergency" broadcasts. I had bemused looks by my boss at the time (coz we were increasingly using automation at the time), yet I got a quiet nod by upper management for taking initiative.

Take your own actions. Read (and print) this Be Ready Kit [link], get a first aid kit organised so you know that in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency like a chemical spill to terrorism, you'll be sorted.

1 comment:

noizy said...

gah! just be glad you don't live in Wellington. Two narrow roads that would certainly be knocked out in an earthquake, and that's it. No evacuation for us...