Preparing for an Alpine Fault earthquake

An earthquake on the Alpine Fault is likely to be one of the most significant disasters that could affect Selwyn district. The council's emergency management team has been working with Selwyn communities to get ready.

Project AF8 is a collaborative effort to prepare for a magnitude 8 Alpine Fault earthquake.

The science
While we can’t predict when earthquakes will occur, scientific research has shown that the Alpine Fault has a regular history of producing large earthquakes. By analysing sediment deposited at two sites in Fiordland, scientists have established that the Alpine Fault has ruptured 27 times over the last 8000 years. That’s every 300 years on average. The last significant quake on the Alpine Fault was in 1717.

Our emergency management team has developed a district wide Alpine Fault response plan and has worked with communities to develop plans for the high country.

How will this affect the Selwyn district?
It’s highly likely that alpine areas in Selwyn will be cut off by landslides. This will affect residents, tourists, travellers and users of the back country such as trampers, skiers and climbers. People travelling though or using the back country should be mindful of their personal preparedness and what emergency supplies they have available, should they become stranded following an earthquake.

An Alpine Fault rupture will be a national event. Power, water, and phone services may not be working for an extended period of time. We need to be prepared to cope potentially without outside help as resources will be stretched and prioritised to people most in need.

Sign up to Selwyn Gets Ready
We offer a free emergency alerting system to residents, which sends text and email alerts to subscribed households in events such as wildfire, extreme snowfall or other severe weather.

Following an earthquake, the system may be used to communicate important safety information, although this will be dependent on the state of communications networks.

Sign up to Selwyn Gets Ready

Be prepared to respond

Have a look at happens.nz for more tips on how to prepare for an emergency.