A widely felt earthquake impacted central areas of the country last night. Sentinel notified subscribers of shaking at their subscribed location, immediately identifying if the level of measured shaking was significant, and what to do next.
Yesterday marked the 11 year anniversary of an event that forever changed lives. At Canterbury Seismic Instruments we take a moment to reflect on those lives that were changed by the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. We consider those lost and those who lost, we thank those who worked (and continue to work) towards recovery, and we celebrate those who work toward better tools for resilience. This time every year is a reminder why we created the Sentinel Earthquake Resilience Service to enable use of more data in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake.
At 09:30am Thursday October 28th, organisations across New Zealand will run preparedness and response drills for earthquake and tsunami. ShakeOut takes place to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake. Drop, Cover and Hold. You can also practise a tsunami hīkoi (evacuation) if you're in a coastal area.
Natural disasters – like earthquakes, floods or pandemics – can have massive, sometimes disastrous, impacts on businesses. For example, when the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes struck Canterbury, we weren't as ready as we should have been, and the impact was devastating. It begs the question: if the use of data and technology had been more widespread at the time, would it have lessened that impact?
New Zealand isn't called 'the shaky isles' for nothing. Earthquakes are a fact of life here; the past decade has seen significant seismic activity and the science tells us to expect more in the future. We can't prevent the quakes, but we can be prepared for them and with Sentinel, we have the technology to help us make smart, fast decisions after they’ve occurred.
When an earthquake strikes, the go-to resource for most New Zealanders is GeoNet. Following an event, people quickly jump onto the site to review the magnitude and the intensity of the quake or “reported shaking”.
At Sentinel, we know that measured ground shaking across a city or region is highly variable. Using “Magnitude plus distance” as a crude estimate of damage likelihood is unreliable, uncertain and potentially dangerous. An earthquake earlier this week provided a graphic demonstration.