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Saturday, October 07, 2006

High-risk warning on Ruapehu remains

CD High-risk warning on Ruapehu remains

"The volatile Mt Ruapehu remains a high risk as scientists are still unable to determine whether any eruptive activity occurred on Wednesday night.

The mountain struck the attention of Department of Conservation (DoC) and Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS) scientists after the Eastern Ruapehu Lahar Warning System (Erlaw) was activated at about 10.25pm by a volcanic earthquake measuring 2.8.

However, bad weather has, and still is, hampering their investigation to see what actually happened."

Also See:

Friday, October 06, 2006

Teens found safe after police search

LSAR Teens found safe after police search

"Three Wanganui teenagers sparked a police search after they become lost in bush while pig hunting.

The teenage boys went pig hunting on Tuesday but got lost and called police on a cellphone."

[It seems that more and more Cellphone coverage is sufficient to remove the need for a full blown Search and Rescue operation]

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Communications Plan For Emergency UN Missions

CD New Communications Plan For Emergency UN Missions

"New Initiative To Provide Immediate Communications For Emergency UN Missions
United Nations emergency response missions around the world will have access to the latest telecommunications technology within 48 hours of a disaster anywhere on Earth under a five-year public-private partnership announced today.

“Rapid communications saves lives,” UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said of the initiative announced by the UN Foundation and the Vodafone Group Foundation (VGF). “There is an urgent need for food, water, shelter, protection and medical help in emergencies. None of these things are possible without quick and reliable communications.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nor’west storm basis for annual exercise

CD Nor’west storm basis for annual exercise

"If a strong north westerly storm was heading towards your home or workplace in the next day or two, would you be ready for it?

This year’s Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Exercise Pandora will be held on two Fridays, October 6 (Waimate and Selwyn districts) and October 13 (Christchurch, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Kaikoura districts). Because of the extensive real-life response required during the June snow, Timaru, Mackenzie and Ashburton districts are not taking part in Pandora this time. Instead, they are putting in place lessons learnt through the snow storm."

Prepare for disaster

CD Prepare for disaster

"Hawke's Bay is well prepared for emergencies, but people will still have to take responsibility for themselves for at least three days after a big disaster, a civil defence manager says.

Nigel Simpson, co-ordinator of the Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, said a nationwide exercise responding to a make-believe tsunami in May revealed no significant problems in Hawke's Bay.

"We had a good result."

Exercise Pacific Wave, held in a bunker beneath Parliament on May 17, prompted a report from the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Ministry, revealing confusion, a lack of staff and inadequate communication systems to handle a big emergency properly."

Also See:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two houses in Birkenhead under threat after large slip

CD Two houses in Birkenhead under threat after large slip

"Two houses on Auckland's North Shore are under threat after a large slip caused by heavy rain.

Both houses are in Awanui St in Little Shoal Bay.

One is teetering on the edge of the slip and is in danger of falling into the sea.

North Shore City Council civil defence manager David Keay says the tenants from the house were evacuated on Monday evening. The other endangered house is empty, with absentee owners.

Also See

Police target cyclists, motorists in cycle lane campaign

Police target cyclists, motorists in cycle lane campaign

"Cyclists and motorists are both targets of a road campaign by Christchurch police who are trying to get people to use cycle lanes properly.

Senior Sergeant Trevor Pullen said the campaign would run during October and would emphasise the correct way to use the lanes.

"This means by cyclists and motorists. The cycle lane is not a lane for motorists or `undertaking'.
"We are aware that significant numbers of motorists are driving along cycle lanes or using them as queue lanes at some intersections."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wanganui bubbles beneath

CD Wanganui bubbles beneath

"Scientists are predicting Wanganui will eventually become a volcano.

Dr Hamish Campbell of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences says there is already a huge amount of seismic activity beneath the city. He says a line can be drawn straight from the volcanoes of the Kermadec arc, through White Island, Ruapehu and Wanganui.

However there is no need to flee Wanganui in terror just yet. Mr Campbell says the volcano is not expected to emerge for thousands of years."

Also See:

Second quake shakes Mt Cook

CD Second quake shakes Mt Cook

"The Mount Cook region was shaken by two earthquakes in just over an hour tonight.

A quake measuring 4.6 on the richter scale struck at 10.02pm at a depth of 8km, 30km northwest of Mount Cook.

It followed a 4.3 quake at 8.48pm, at a depth of 5km, also 30km northwest of Mount Cook.

GNS Science said the second quake, like the first, may have been felt in the central South Island.

Orion on pandemic path

CD Orion on pandemic path

"Auckland's Orion Health is continuing to enjoy success in the US, securing a deal to supply the Centre for Disease Control with software to track pandemics, whether natural or the result of bioterrorism.

The US government agency will use Orion's Rhapsody software to share information between state health departments. Rhapsody converts data into a standard format so it can be easily put together by the central agency and used to plan a response."

Networks couldn't cope in civil disaster

CD Networks couldn't cope in civil disaster

"Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker says people can't rely on text messaging to warn them of an impending tsunami as Vodafone and Telecom's networks would soon clog up.

Speaking at a conference in Auckland last month, Mr Barker said it would take several hours to send civil defence warnings to all cellphones using available technology.

"The use of cell broadcasting technology does allow text messages to be sent simultaneously to all mobile phones in a predetermined geographical area, without having to queue messages." But New Zealand telcos do not have the equipment to do this. "

[It is interesting to note that during the Katrina emergency TXT messages did seem to keep getting through despite a damaged and overloaded system]

Missing hunter found in the Urewera Ranges

LSAR Missing hunter found in the Urewera Ranges

"A Rotorua hunter, missing since yesterday in the Urewera Ranges east of Murupara, was found safe but with a suspected broken ankle today."

"Due to the rugged nature of the terrain the helicopter had to land several kilometres away and one of the search party had to walk to where the man was located to ascertain his condition."

Crisis IT system no closer

CD Crisis IT system no closer

"The newly-appointed head of the Civil Defence Ministry, John Hamilton, says no progress has been made toward implementing a National Crisis Management System since a tender was cancelled in December 2004.

Civil Defence first went shopping for an IT system to help it handle national emergencies in 2002 and selected a multimillion-dollar system tendered by US software firm E-Team and Unisys in 2003 as its preferred solution, but was unable to conclude a contract."

Scientists uncover why Spanish flu was so deadly

CD Scientists uncover why Spanish flu was so deadly

"The 1918 Spanish flu that killed up to 50 million people worldwide caused a severe immune response which may help to explain why it was so deadly, American scientists have said.

The pandemic was one of the worst in recorded history and killed more people than World War I. But researchers did not understand what made it so lethal."

Raoul Island alert level downgraded

CD Raoul Island alert level downgraded

"The alert level for the Raoul Island volcano has been downgraded to zero - which indicates the area is becoming more settled.

An eruption on the island at 8am on March 17 killed a New Zealand Department of Conservation worker, who was taking the temperature of Green Lake at the time. Five co-workers were evacuated by air."

Civil Defence on recruiting drive

CD Civil Defence on recruiting drive

"A report compiled following the Pacific Wave exercise shows the National Crisis Management Centre falls down in the areas of staffing and information management.

Civil Defence and Emergency Management director John Hamilton agrees the centre is short of staff, but says work has already begun on recruiting people to boost the team from 38 to nearly 50 full time workers.

He says it will take some time to find the right staff and does not expect to be full-strength until next year. John Hamilton says New Zealanders can be assured any emergency between now and then will be managed well, with supplementary staff available."

Also See:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Jet boat escape seals deal

CD Jet boat escape seals deal

"Plans for a multimillion-dollar estate on a Coromandel flood plain have been given the green light because residents will be taught to drive a jet boat to rescue themselves if their homes are threatened by floodwaters.

Auckland property developer Bruce Holdsworth, who developed apartments in Auckland's Viaduct, is behind Kahikatea Estate, which will be built on a natural flood plain of the Tairua River."

[How absurd can you get]

Weather strikes early

CD Weather strikes early

"Widespread superficial flooding and numerous slips are reported in West Auckland as heavy rain accompanied by thunder has arrived twelve hours earlier than forecasters predicted.

Police say they've received numerous calls from Waitakere residents, and they say driving conditions are hazardous. Weather commentator Philip Duncan says a front is bringing torrential rain from Auckland northwards this afternoon, but it was not expected until overnight or tomorrow.

But the rainbands have moved more quickly than forecasters predicted. The rain is affecting Auckland, Northland, and the Coromandel Peninsular, with up to 120 millimetres falling very rapidly in some parts"

Also See:

Natural disaster due - expert

CD Natural disaster due - expert

"
New Zealand is a country coming apart at the seams. Or, more accurately, subducting at the seams of two continental plates, making it periodically shake, crumble, explode and prone to tsunamis.

As part of Te Papa's Earth Rocks event on Labour Weekend the museum has organised a panel of experts to answer the public's questions about how best to survive the earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes or landslides that come with our geology.

Panel leader Dr Hamish Campbell of GNS Science said New Zealand was one of the most geologically active places on earth. Our farms, homes and forests are perched on an unusually thin skin of the earth's crust at the boundary of two tectonic plates.

The panel expects questions such as the best place to find cover in an earthquake, where the most dangerous place to live is, which volcano is likely to erupt next, who provides insurance cover in a landslide and how to escape a tsunami."