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Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management

26 Nov 2016

Media Statement

GNS has issued an update about recent observations that were published approximately a week ago. They have observed unusual activity involving two slow slips (slow moving earthquakes) at the same time, on both east and west parts of the lower North Island.

This heightened activity increases the uncertainty about the likelihood and size of future earthquakes.  We expect to have a better understanding in coming days, however given the complex nature of these seismic events, inevitably there will continue to be some uncertainty.

Since the 7.8M Kaikoura earthquake, we have advised the public that an aftershock of similar or larger magnitude is unlikely but possible. These recent observations underline this advice, and are a good reminder that we live in a seismically active country and need to be prepared.

While uncertainty about seismic activity can be unsettling, the more we know, the better equipped we are if we experience another significant earthquake.

The events of the last two weeks have prompted important conversations about being well prepared for earthquakes and tsunami. These observations are a reminder for us to keep having these conversations, and to sit down with your family if you haven’t already to make sure you have a plan.

If you are near the coast and you feel an earthquake that lasts longer than a minute or makes it difficult to stand, act immediately and head inland or to higher ground.

We should all continue to take steps that will help to keep us safe and lessen an earthquake’s personal impact.