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Earthquake – secure items in your home and work

Earthquake – secure items in your home and work

Yesterday’s 6.3 Wellington Anniversary Day Earthquake was a strong reminder for Palmerston North residents and businesses to be more prepared.

Head of Emergency Management at Palmerston North City Council, Stewart Davies, says in the last year we have had a number of reminders that we live in the shaky isles.

“Yesterday, Council staff assessed infrastructure in the city and luckily we have escaped with minor damage.”

Stewart Davies says it’s not a matter of if an earthquake will strike, it is a matter of when and we all should be prepared. “This is more important now as GNS scientists are predicting aftershocks for some time to come.”

Everyone should take some time to secure items such as wall units, bookshelves, hotwater cylinders and televisions. “A good rule of thumb is if it could fall and hurt someone then you should find a way to secure it to a wall.”

The earthquake damaged some chimneys in the city. “I want to urge everyone with fireplaces to have them checked out. Historically there have been cases of fires in homes many months after earthquakes caused by an unchecked damaged chimney. Be safe, be certain and get it checked out.”

Stewart Davies says a good way to safeguard yourself, your family and your property is to visit http://www.getthru.govt.nz/web/GetThru.nsf. There you will find details of how you can prepare with the aim of being self-sufficient for at least three days post a disaster.

Meanwhile, Palmerston North City Council’s parks and property manager John Brenkley says engineers are this morning assessing all Council buildings, especially those on the Earthquake Prone Building List.

“We’ve identified some superficial damage such as door frames twisting, however to date nothing structural has been identified. The lifts in the Central Administration Building and Palmerston North City Library have, as they are designed to do in an earthquake, stopped working and service engineers have been called.”

John Brenkley says he’ll have a better idea of the situation later in the day.


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