Thursday, December 29, 2011

Heavy rain for Friday

MetService has added the Wellington area and Kapiti Coast to its heavy rain warning for tomorrow.

Rain is expected to become heavy at times from the early hours of Friday until Friday night. In the 20 hours from 2am to 10pm Friday, expect 60-90mm of rain in places. Peak rates could reach 10-15mm per hour late morning and early afternoon.

Rainfalls of this amount has the potential to cause rivers and streams to rise rapidly, and lead to surface flooding and slips. Driving conditions could also become hazardous at times. People, especially holidaymakers, should keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings, and plan accordingly.

We have our fingers crossed for Nelson.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Porirua's Red Cross team deployed to Nelson

Porirua's Red Cross Response Team is lending a hand down in Nelson.

They headed over this morning, and today they have been assisting those who have been forced out of their homes to go back in in 30 minute stints to collect their belongings. They are working in teams with geotechnical engineers, civil defence and rescue team members to make sure the site is secure before going in.

Such a lovely view from this house -

But then you have a look out the back, just up the hill....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you

Now I've got the Crowded House song stuck in my head...

I'm betting there are a few people in Nelson wondering who brought the weather with them on holiday, and hoping they could take it away again.

A State of Emergency has been declared to help manage the response to the flooding and slips.

It makes you think, doesn't it? Could that happen where you're going on holiday this Christmas?

Is your favourite camping spot on a river flat which could flood? Are you tramping through an area where you'd have to cross streams or rivers?

What about other hazards? Is the bach in a tsunami evacuation zone, or in an area with a high fire danger?

I know it's a bit doom & gloom for what is supposed to be happy time of year, but unfortunately there are plenty of things that could go wrong while you are on holiday. Fortunately you can reduce your risks with some careful planning, and some of the same basic things that you do to prepare at home.

Know your risks - ask the local district council of the place you are going to.
Have a plan & learn where the important facilities are - medical centres etc
Take extra water and survival items with you. Something to keep the kids entertained in the car definitely counts as a survival item. Bored kids is a disaster on its own!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What do you do when the lights go out?

Parts of Auckland, Wellington & the Hutt Valley are currently without power, apparently due to some kind of fault at the Huntly power station.

Porirua is unaffected so far, though I make no garrantees that will continue!

EDIT: Doh! My bad. While the CBD has had no interruptions, it looks like most of the rest of Porirua has no power! We now have reports of outages in Aotea, Ascot Park, Waitangirua, Cannons Creek & Whitby.

Does your business rely on having a power supply to remain open?

Or have you got a back up plan?

A generator maybe, or gas for cooking if that's what your business involves - cafes in Wellington that cook with gas do a roaring trade during power cuts, as the office workers leave their buildings when they have no way to work without power.
Things you can do that don't require power - paper-based systems etc, or good batteries on a laptop. Some way to process eftpos & credit card transactions that doesn't rely on being plugged into the mains.

All things that you may want to think about for keeping your business going - especially at such a busy time of year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shaking again

Once again we are reminded that the Wellington region is carved up by a large number of fault lines, with an earthquake measuring 4.2 triggered just 10km West of Porirua at 10:16 this morning.

It was quite noticeable at the Emergency Management Office - the initial rumble of the primary waves felt and sounded like someone was parking a Mack truck under the floor, and then the secondary waves hit with a definite side to side shaking.

Here's the Stuff article -

Here's the data from Geonet:

The following earthquake has been recorded by GNS:

Reference number: 3623397/G
Universal Time: 2011/12/07 21:16:42
Local time (NZDT): 10:16 AM on Thursday 08 December 2011
Latitude, Longitude: 41.15S, 174.75E
NZ Map Grid (E, N): 2657000, 6005000
NZ Trans Merc (E, N): 1747000, 5443000
Location: 10 km west of Porirua
Focal depth: 30
Magnitude: 4.2

Web page:

Felt widely around the Wellington region

Click on the link, check out some of the maps and things, and fill in the Felt Earthquake Report.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Did the earth move for you?

Much of the central part of the country had a good shake earlier this evening, when a magnitude 5.7 quake struck 30km east of Picton at 7:19pm. Fortunately it was located about 60km down, so it has only caused some minor damage - some people have lost a few ornaments (I can't recommend Fix, Fasten & Forget enough!), and it looks like the Meridian building in Wellington had some minor damage to its louvres.

I'm a bit worried that people in a cafe in Picton ran out into the street during the shaking - some of the fatalities and injuries in the Christchurch quake were from falling debris hitting people who had run out of buildings. If you are inside a building when the shaking starts, it's safest to stay inside, and take shelter under something. if you are outside, stay outside and move away from the buildings, as things may be falling off them. What you don't want to be doing is heading out the door and passing through an area of significant danger.

Drop, Cover & Hold is still the best advice.