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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 17 March until 8 May 2020, and has been made possible with funding from the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

Public events are planned in 12 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:

AF8 Programme Lead, Alice Lake-Hammond says “We had such a fantastic turn out to last year’s Roadshow events and there were places we just couldn’t get to in the time we had, so we are excited to be hitting the road again to share the Science Beneath Our Feet with even more South Island communities.

“We live in a stunning part of the world and while the thought of an AF8 earthquake is scary, if we didn’t have an Alpine Fault we wouldn’t have the beautiful South Island landscape as we know it today. Understanding our home and its vulnerabilities, raising awareness and sharing knowledge are essential in building our collective preparedness for future events.”

EQC Head of Resilience Strategy and Research Dr. Jo Horrocks says it’s vital that South Island communities continue to connect with information about the risks posed by the Alpine Fault and how they can prepare. “The Alpine Fault is one of Aotearoa’s most well-known natural hazards. We’re proud to support AF8’s outreach work to help us translate knowledge of the risk into preparedness actions that will make our homes and communities more resilient when future quakes occur.”

AF8 Science-lead, Dr. 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.

“It is crucial that communities not just understand the geology underneath their feet but also what science has to say about how to respond in the event of a large earthquake occurring, so we can prepare and take action.”

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, Victoria University Wellington 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.

The award-winning programme 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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