Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Earthquakes In New Zealand. What To Do During An Earthquake. Learn Before It Happens To You.

new zealand quake tsunami
Well, as if we haven’t seen enough earthquakes and tsunamis this year, New Zealand just got hit with another. New Zealand was hit with a 7.6-magnitude earthquake today (originally reported as a 7.8-magnitude earthquaje), according to the USGS, and local tsunami warnings followed. But those tsunami warnings have now been cancelled from what I have found.
The earthquake was felt most on NewZealand’s Kermadec Islands in the Pacific Ocean, remote islands that are essentially uninhabited. There is only a weather station there and a hostel for visiting scientists.
The tsunami resulting from the earthquake was expected to affect Keramecs, Tonga, and New Zealand, but didn’t amount to much.

New Zealand Earthquake: Tsunami Threat Over

By Anissa Haddadi | July 7, 2011 10:12 AM GMT
A tsunami sparked by a powerful 7.6-magitude quake failed to materialize on New Zealand's shores, but Civil Defense says people should expect high tides within the next 24 hours.
The quake struck at 7.03am (NZT) at a depth of 20km, according to the US Geological Service. It was felt in Wellington and parts of the East Coast of the North Island.
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It was originally reported to be magnitude 7.8 at a depth of 48km but USGS has revised it to magnitude 7.6.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu said a tsunami had been generated and could be around a metre high when it arrives at New Zealand.
The USGS said tsunamis had already struck the Kermadec Islands and Raoul Island this morning. The waves were 68cm and 84cm high before adding it had issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand, affecting East Cape, North Cape, Gisborne and Auckland.
However, the Pacific Warning Centre based in Hawaii called off its tsunami warning after the 7.6 earthquake in the Kermadecs before the Civil Defence did.
Civil Defence Minister Craig Foss says the chain of command here is clear.
"The official advisory body is New Zealand Civil Defence and the messages they sent erring on the side of caution was correct as normal."
Dr Suart Weinstein from the Centre told Radio New Zealand said the warning has become too confused, and it undermines the warnings from national authorities.
"Their decisions are in effect short circuited because the public has access to our bulletins.
"It is a problem."
Dr Weinstein says the Centre may assign threat levels instead, but discussions are still taking place as to what shape those bulletins will take.
Meanwhile scientists say New Zealand was never in any danger of a large tsunami hitting its shores, as the seismic energy from a huge earthquake north of the country was directed away from here.

New Zealand gov't offers mental health service for quake-affected people 
( Updated July 07, 2011 03:33 PM Comments (0) View comments

WELLINGTON (Xinhua) -- Residents of New Zealand's second city of Christchurch are being offered more mental health and counseling services after being shaken by thousands of earthquakes and aftershocks over the last 10 months.
The government on Thursday announced it would spend an extra 1. 5 million NZ dollars (1.24 million U.S. dollars) on mental health services in the Canterbury region, including a new specialist earthquake response team to help the more vulnerable.
Associate Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said the funding would also support extended general practitioner consultations and increased counseling support to help people cope with the on-going effects of earthquakes and aftershocks in the region.
"Many people in Canterbury are feeling exhausted and drained by the ongoing stress," Coleman said Thursday.
"More people are seeking help and we are monitoring the situation to ensure the Canterbury DHB (district health board) and mental health providers can continue to meet the demand."
Primary health-care providers were reporting increasing demand for mental health services, said Coleman.
GPs would provide extended consultations and brief mental health interventions, while the earthquake response team, which would liaise with GPs on mental health issues, would provide individual and group therapy for older people, children and their families.
Coleman said alcohol and drug services in Canterbury were ensuring people seeking help are being assessed quickly and provided with the appropriate support.
"We know how resilient Cantabrians are, but they've been through an incredibly tough time and help is there if they need it. "
Last week the government announced it was pledging a special payment of up to 16 million NZ dollars to the Canterbury District Health Board for earthquake-related costs in the 2010-2011 financial year.
Many homes have been uninhabitable since a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on Sept. 4 last year and the city had been rocked by more than 7,350 tremors as of June 23, including 28 ones of magnitude 5 or greater.
A major quake on Feb. 22 killed at least 181 people, and the two most recent major jolts occurred on June 13.

Emergency Preparedness For Earthquakes...Here is a lesson....

What to Do During an Earthquake
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If indoors

  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.

If outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If in a moving vehicle

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
  • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

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