23
May

christchurch-cathedral-after-the-earthquakeEvery Wellingtonian knows they live under the big risk of an earthquake. But complacency creeps in. The batteries die, the matches get damp, the water goes stale and slimy.

However, new reports reinforce the stark potential impact on a region fed by one vulnerable highway and airport.

Wellington Water estimates a high intensity quake on the Wellington Fault would sever the mains in at least five places, cutting water to Upper Hutt, Wellington and Porirua.

Miramar and East Wellington could be dry for 100 days; the capital could be cut off for 90 days; Porirua faces a 40-day wait; Lower Hutt could be anything from five to 30 days while Upper Hutt could be back online within 15 days.

Earlier research by GNS Science estimated that, allowing for the survival minimum of six litres of water per person per day, the peak shortfall would occur at day 39 after the quake, leaving 50,000 people high and dry. At the more realistic 20 litres per person per day, peak shortfall occurs at day 20, leaving 150,000 people parched.

“Given that people are likely to die after a few days without water, the results indicated the potential for a disaster unprecedented in New Zealand’s history, not from damage and immediate casualties, but from lack of water to drink,” the authors conclude.

Greater Wellington Regional Council research shows a 750L rainwater tank would last a family of three for 80 days in an average summer, but in a dry spell it could run dry in just 13 days. Which is why microbiologist Stan Abbott says bigger is better.

“It could be disastrous. It’s no exaggeration when you say we could be without water for 100 days. And unlike Christchurch, access is going to be much more challenging.”

Abbott, who runs Massey University’s Roof Water Harvesting Centre, has two tanks (total 1250L) to serve two people at his Paekakariki home.

It’s strictly emergency water and there’s always a contamination risk so he’d boil it for at least a minute or disinfect. Authorities suggest adding household bleach, but he prefers hydrogen peroxide products if you can get them as they’re less corrosive – Pour n’Go, Acquasafe or Steritank. To read more click here.

The 2016 Australian and New Zealand Search and Rescue Conference (ANZSAR); Land, Sea & Air will be held at the Jupiters Hotel, Gold Coast on the 1 June 2016.

CLICK HERE to view the Conference Program with an impressive line up of keynote speakers and targeted forums it makes this the premier conference to attend in the Oceania region.

To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

Keynote speaker Dr Sarb Johal, Disaster Mental Health from Joint Centre for Disaster Research Massey University, NZ will be speaking on the psychosocial implications of disaster management in particular the impact of shared trauma on health care professionals following the Canterbury earthquakes.

Delegates may also wish to attend the 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference also held at Jupiters Gold Coast, QLD on the 30-31 May 2016.

Special discount rates are being offered to those that wish to attend both Conferences.



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