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Rights: © Copyright 2014. University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved
Published 18 August 2014 Referencing Hub media
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New Zealand gets lots of earthquakes every year. Some earthquakes are very strong. Scientists study earthquakes to keep us and our important buildings safe.

Point of interest
The black and white photographs of the Napier earthquake show Napier Hospital patients being evacuated to the Botanical Gardens. Engineers now build hospitals that are able to withstand earthquakes.

Transcript

VOICE OVER

New Zealand gets about 14,000 earthquakes every year. Most earthquakes are too small for us to feel, but sometimes they are large enough to damage buildings.

An earthquake damaged buildings in Napier and Hastings in 1931.

Many buildings were also damaged in Christchurch in 2011. Seddon, at the top of the South Island, also suffered significant damage during earthquakes in 2013.

Scientists study earthquakes because they want to know more about their causes and predict where they are likely to happen.

They also need to know how the ground moves during earthquakes. This information helps scientists and engineers build safer buildings – especially important buildings in an emergency, like hospitals and government buildings.

Acknowledgements

Historic images courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

Buildings ruined by the 1931 earthquake, Napier. Smith, Sydney Charles, 1888–1972: Photographs of New Zealand. Ref: 1/2-048343-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22891601

Ruins of the nurses’ home, Napier, after the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake. Creator unknown: Photographs of Napier and Hastings after the 1931 earthquake. Ref: 1/4-017193-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22520125

Napier earthquake: Evacuating the Napier Hospital. Williams family: Photographs relating to the Williams family. Ref: 1/2-029566-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23250164

Napier Hospital patients in the botanical gardens, after the 1931 earthquake. Ref: 1/2-060975-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22683148

Footage from Christchurch earthquake (2011) courtesy of Logan McMillian, Gorilla Pictures

Footage from Seddon earthquake (2013) courtesy of Tim Struthers

Photo of Dr Laura Wallace, by Kate Clark, GNS

Professor Stefano Pampanin, Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury

Alistair Cattanach, Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd

Professor David Prior, Department of Geology, University of Otago

Dr Virginia Toy, Department of Geology, University of Otago