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Wellington, New Zealand

Mowll R.,Wellington Lifelines Group | Brunsdon D.,NZ Lifelines Committee
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning | Year: 2013

The first step towards improving a city’s resilience is to understand the hazards it faces and assess their potential impact. The Wellington Lifelines Group in New Zealand is engaged in doing this exercise for the metropolitan area of the Wellington region, New Zealand. It consists of 20 utility operators and civil defence agencies that facilitate planning for major natural hazard events. This allows utility providers to understand the risks they face, mitigate them where practical with physical upgrades, and carry out emergency planning where services are likely to be seriously disrupted. This paper describes the work of the group and its 2012 report summarising the impact of a major earthquake on energy, transport, water and telecommunications utilities within metropolitan Wellington. The report outlined emergency planning projects in progress or proposed, thereby providing a snapshot of Wellington’s current and projected preparedness to restart key services after a major disaster. © ICE Publishing: All rights reserved Source

Mowll R.L.,Wellington Lifelines Group | Brunsdon D.R.,NZ Lifelines Committee | Wilde F.,Wellington Lifelines Group | Leslie P.D.,Wellington Lifelines Group
Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2013

Understanding seismic hazard and the potential impacts of an earthquake on a population allows better planning of response and recovery. It also allows a better understanding of how to mitigate against the effects of earthquakes. The Wellington Lifelines Group (WeLG) and the various Wellington lifeline utility organisations over the past five years have synthesised information on the consequences of a major earthquake, drawing upon hazard information (including from the GNS Science-led 'It's Our Fault' studies), learning from civil defence emergency management exercises and from overseas earthquakes, and specialist studies commissioned by individual utilities. During 2012, WeLG facilitated specific discussions in order to summarise the time taken to restore water, transport, power (electricity) and telecommunications services following a rupture of the Wellington Fault, and therefore the effects on the population. The outcome of this work was an indication of substantial post-earthquake restoration times, agreed across and within key utility sectors. The time-scales for restoration of lifelines in a major earthquake are in the tens of days for power and water, and some key roads would not be recovered for up to 120 days. Telecommunications systems, particulariy cell phone sites, would be recovered earlier, but are critically dependent upon access and fuel supplies for the refuelling of emergency generators. Given the significance of these likely restoration times for the community, it was decided to publically release the information, with buy-in from all of the lifeline utility organisations involved. The resulting report was released, with appropriate messaging, via the Wellington CDEM Group to the media in mid-November 2012. This paper provides a summary of the likely restoration times, background to their derivation, and the initial reactions to the release of the information. Source

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