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Friday, August 25, 2006

Search continues for Westport man

LSAR Search continues for Westport man

"Searchers have found no trace of a 55-year-old Westport man who has been missing since early yesterday morning.

Search controller Constable Sean Judd, of Westport police, said searches of the town, beaches, parks and walkways yesterday turned up nothing.

Searchers would continue scanning those areas again today."

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Don't panic! say experts

CD Don't panic! say experts

"A major earthquake in Rotorua is very likely - but probably not today.

Some Rotorua residents were alarmed yesterday after the Daily Post reported comments from geologists that a major New Zealand earthquake was overdue.

At a Natural Hazards Management Conference in Christchurch this week, geology experts Tim Davies and Mauri McSaveney said an alpine fault earthquake was overdue and would result in the East Cape ripping away from New Zealand, destroying the plateau on which Rotorua was based and taking Taupo and Whakatane with it."

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Body could be missing Alzheimer's sufferer

LSAR Body could be missing Alzheimer's sufferer

Police believe the body which washed up near Wellington on Sunday is an Alzheimer's sufferer who went missing from Palmerston North in June.

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Frigate leaves for Raoul Island to monitor volcanic activity

Frigate leaves for Raoul Island to monitor volcanic activity

ANZAC frigate Te Mana is on its way to remote Raoul Island to commemorate the death of Kiwi conservation worker Mark Kearney and to monitor volcanic activity.

The trip will also be used to restock the department's base on Raoul Island and to monitor volcanic activity. Little monitoring had been possible since Mr Kearney's death, because DOC had imposed an exclusion zone around the crater lake as a safety precaution, GNS volcano surveillance coordinator Brad Scott said.

He plans to use Te Mana's Seasprite helicopter to make a dawn flight over the island, lowering sample bottles into Green Lake to look at the water chemistry and to take infrared photographs to map the hot spots.

AdvertisementAdvertisement"We really are on the back foot. We don't have the continuous data or chemistry we were getting. This will help build up the picture of what's happening under the volcano."

Mr Scott also aims to count and map between 15 and 20 craters formed by the March eruption

Tourists should be prepared for the Big One

Tourists should be prepared for the Big One

"A Canterbury University professor says the likelihood of a major earthquake hitting the South Island alpine fault increases everyday, and people in the region should be aware how catastrophic it will be.

Speaking at the Natural Hazards Management Conference in Christchurch, Professor Tim Davies said statistically the major quake is long overdue.

He says the remoteness of the region means many people, in particular tourists, will be stranded for a long time when bridges and roads collapse.

Tim Davies says tour operators should be making contingency plans to be able to help their clients who will inevitably be affected by a major earthquake."

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another light quake joins the swarm as the plates slide under us

Another light quake joins the swarm as the plates slide under us

"Gisborne residents who were awake at 6.08am might have felt a small earthquake yesterday morning.

The earthquake was felt throughout much of the eastern North Island. It was 5.2 on the Richter scale and was centred at a depth of 170km underground.

This depth is typical of earthquakes centred in this region. They are caused by the subduction of the Pacific Geological Plate under the East Coast.

Earthquakes centred in this region are generally 40-70km underground because this plate passes under us at this depth."

They Called It Katrina - One year on

They Called It Katrina

"One year ago tomorrow, on August 23rd, Tropical Depression Twelve formed over the eastern Bahamas. The depression was upgraded to a tropical storm the next day as the energy and winds within intensified. It was the eleventh tropical storm of the season, and thus was given a name beginning with the letter "K."

The watchers at the National Hurricane Center called it Katrina."

One year on, recovery is still happening, and what have they learnt?

Civil Defence alerts now available on mobile

Civil Defence alerts now available on mobile

Tsunami warnings and other disaster alerts can now be sent to Bay of Plenty people via text messages - allowing Civil Defence officials to contact thousands of people in an instant.

In what is believed to be a New Zealand first, Tauranga Western Bay Emergency Office manager Barry Low has revealed that anyone who registers will receive a warning and any other necessary information via text message.

It will only cost people a one-off 50c registration fee and messages are free.

Also see: Rocom's subsidiary provides free text alerts for the Civil Defence

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Experts praise NZ's readiness for influenza pandemic

CD Experts praise NZ's readiness for influenza pandemic

New Zealand's preparedness for an influenza pandemic has been praised by medical researchers who raised fears about other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

In an article published today in The Lancet medical journal, Richard Coker and Sandra Mounier-Jack, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, wrote that New Zealand, along with Australia and Hong Kong, had taken a "strategic approach aimed mainly at harnessing available resources or preparing for the the deployment of resources," they wrote.

"The plans of Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand compared favourably with the best European plans."

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Quake rattles central North Island

Quake rattles central North Island

"There's been a moderately sized earthquake in the central North Island this morning, but was so deep many people would have missed it.

The tremor measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and struck at 6.08am. It was located about 30 kilometres north-west of Taupo at a depth of 170 kilometres.

Seismologists say it was felt at Hokowhito and Marton and may have been felt in other parts of the eastern North Island. There are no reports of damage."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Whakatane receives improved emergency services

Whakatane receives improved emergency services

The Whakatane District Council has been prompted to improve its emergency response services following the July 2004 floods and last year's Matata event.

An urban search and rescue team of 12 has been developed and provided with training and resources so they can respond with other emergency services that exist in the district.