LEARNZ is a unique kiwi organisation that runs ‘virtual’ field trips for primary and secondary schools in New Zealand.
In addition to the many other active fault lines in the region that could cause an earthquake, there is a small but real possibility of a Wellington Fault earthquake occurring. This would cause a rupture along the fault line with perhaps 5 metres of sideways movement and one or two metres of vertical dislocation. Houses built across the fault would be ripped apart, and the whole city shaken violently, resulting in severe building damage, streets full of glass and other debris, broken water, gas and electricity supplies, roads, railways and the ferry terminal out of action and communications largely cut off. Did you click on that emergency preparedness link yet?
Over three days we visited a number of city viewpoints and structures, the emergency operations centre of the Wellington Regional Council, the fault line itself, and the water supply lakes at Te Marua. It was reassuring to see how much thought and effort has been put into planning for the earthquake risk by the authorities. In this photo of the place where the fault runs right below the Thorndon overbridge and the Wellington Railway, you can see the steel re-inforcement casings around the motorway support pillars and the large concrete slabs that are designed to prevent the motorway segments from collapsing.
Over one hundred school classes participated in the event.
as well as our Wellington Fault short doco movie: