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Alpine Fault Roadshow Brings Hazard And Impact Science To More South Island Communities

AF8 [Alpine Fault magnitude 8] is again teaming up with leading earthquake scientists and Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups to bring the award-winning AF8 Roadshow to more South Island communities.

The “AF8 Roadshow: The Science Beneath Our Feet” features public science talks and interactive classroom sessions designed to share the story of the Alpine Fault, the impacts and consequences of a future magnitude 8 earthquake, and how people can become better prepared for it.

This year’s Roadshow will tour the South Island from 23 March until 24 May 2021, and has been made possible with funding from the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

Public events are planned in 14 communities, including 15 school visits, around the South Island, with leading scientists talking about the work they do and sharing the Alpine Fault hazard and impact science. The full itinerary is available here: https://af8.org.nz/af8-roadshow/

AF8 Programme Lead, Alice Lake-Hammond explains that real success of AF8’s work has been the programme’s ability to blend world-leading science with local knowledge and experience to raise awareness and increase our preparedness for the next Alpine Fault earthquake.

“The Roadshow plays a pivotal role in this. By making this science available in a community setting, sharing it in a local context where it is of most relevance to the community, this is where it comes alive and where we see actions beginning to be taken. Whether that be identifying local resources and expertise or the beginnings of a community plan, anything we do now will make a difference in the future and the Roadshow provides a space where informed conversations can happen.”

EQC Chief Resilience & Research Officer Dr. Jo Horrocks says that while thinking about the Alpine Fault and its potential impact can feel daunting, there’s still a lot communities and people can do to prepare. “From knowing how to Drop, Cover and Hold and storing food and water, to larger actions like securing tall and heavy furniture to the wall, or removing hazardous chimney types. We can all do something that will increase our resilience for when an Alpine Fault quake occurs.”

AF8 Science-lead, Associate Prof. Caroline Orchiston agrees “While we can’t predict when earthquakes will occur, scientific research has shown that the Alpine Fault has a history of generating regular, large earthquakes. The next major Alpine Fault event is likely to occur within the lifetime of most of us, or of our children and young people, for whom it will have major short and long-term impacts.”

The AF8 Roadshow is supported by the six South Island CDEM Groups, EQC, Resilience to Nature’s Challenges, QuakeCoRE, GNS Science, University of Otago, University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland.

It is part of an ongoing series of activities designed to support conversations and knowledge sharing around large natural hazard events like an Alpine Fault earthquake, ensuring that communities and agencies are collectively better prepared.

AF8 [Alpine Fault magnitude 8] is a collaboration between the six South Island’s CDEM Groups, their partner agencies, stakeholders and scientists. It commenced in July 2016 and is led by Emergency Management Southland on behalf of the South Island CDEM groups.

AF8 aims to share the Alpine Fault hazard and impact science and preparedness information widely, through communication and engagement activities, to increase awareness, enable conversation and build societal preparedness to natural hazard events in the South Island.

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