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September 27, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

WCC Seeks to Review Earthquake-Strengthening Policies

In light of the recent earthquake that terrorised Christchurch on 4 September, Wellington City Mayor Kerry Prendergast has called for a review of earthquake-strengthening policies in the Wellington region.

“I’d like council officers to take another look at our quake-prone building policy to see whether there are changes we can make to speed up the strengthening programme.

“There’s clearly heightened anxiety around the city as people have seen the chilling and heartbreaking images of old, historic buildings either destroyed in the quake or being demolished in its aftermath.”

Council engineers and consultants are about halfway through the process of either removing buildings from the quake-prone list or informing the owners that strengthening work is necessary.

Civil Defence Controller Mike Mendonca is wary of the dangers that come with Wellington’s geographical position along tectonic fault lines.

“Wellington has a lot of reclaimed land, a lot of coastal areas and we know that a tsunami is a major threat for our region. Combined with an earthquake that could be quite catastrophic.”

Mendonca also discusses the significance of routes in and out of Wellington in regards to transport, power and gas.

“There’s one major route out of Wellington Central, along with that route goes the rail, the water, the gas, the power, so if we were to lose that connection, there goes a whole bunch of infrastructure at the stroke of a pen.”

Te Papa and Westpac Stadium, along with Wellington City Hospital have all been built with the appropriate measures to prevent structural damage in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a tsunami.

Quake-stabilised buildings around the university include the Rankine Brown Building and Te Puni Village.


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