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Magnitude 5.8 quake shakes lower South Island

Magnitude 5.8 quake shakes lower South Island

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck south-west of Invercargill this afternoon.

It struck 585km south-west of Invercargill at a depth of 12km. Residents in Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, Lumsden, Roxburgh, Te Anau and Tuatapere have reported that they felt shaking, according to GeoNet.

GeoNet said the quake caused “moderate shaking”.

It was initially classified as a strong quake, but has since been classified as moderate.

Although no damage or injuries have been reported, the tremor acts as a reminder to ensure that we are quake safe.

Quake Protected said that although the primary focus is on the building structural damage caused, due to it being visible from the outside of the building or photos in the media, the non-structural damage is regularly overlooked.

“Around 70 to 80 per cent of the total repair cost after an earthquake is usually due to the damage of internal and non-structural element failure,” said Jeremy Baker, general manager of Quake Protected.

There is often consequential damage caused from non-structural items in commercial buildings, such as air conditioning, fire sprinklers, electricity systems, lighting, telecommunications and ceiling support systems.

Seismic restraints are meant to be applied to these items to reduce damage and most importantly illuminate the risk of hidden things in the ceiling collapsing down on people resulting in injury or death.

“The things that people don’t see, we believe are the biggest risks,” Baker said.

Quake Protected has been creating awareness of this by using the hashtag #lookup to encourage people to take a moment next time they are at work, to look up above them and look around them. Then, think ‘are my employers taking all steps to make sure I am safe at work?’.

“The problem we have is that everybody says, ‘aw but we don’t have earthquakes here’, but if you look at Geo Net, there’s earthquakes happening everywhere on a daily basis.

“There can be 10-15 earthquakes happening in New Zealand every day in varying parts of the country, from Tokoroa to Palmerston North, to wherever you can think of, virtually there’s been an earthquake everywhere,” Baker said.

Some of the key questions for employers would be: Can staff safely get out of the building? Is the business going to be operational the next day? And what are the costs associated?

“It is about ensuring that if there is a natural disaster event, that you can get out of the building safely and get home to your families and loved ones,” Baker said.

“The reason we started Quake Protected is around the preservation of life. If we can get companies to be proactive, have restraints installed properly and help change people’s perception, then the ultimate goal for us is that we save somebody’s life.

“If restraints are in place and because of that people have been able to get out of the building safely, then we’ve achieved our ultimate goal.”

To find out more information about restraints to reduce risks in your workplace, visit Quake Protected website atwww.quakeprotected.co.nz.


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