Queenstowners sign up for earthquake drill

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Thousands of Queenstowners will take part in New Zealand’s first national earthquake drill next month.

The ShakeOut – at 9.26am on Wednesday, September 26 – will see more than a million people across the country practice how to react during a natural disaster.

Queenstown Lakes District Council emergency management officer Jon Mitchell says 2107 local people have registered to take part so far.

“Living as close to the Alpine Fault as we do, we need to take the prospect of a major earthquake seriously,” Mitchell says.

“Every year, month, week and day sees the likelihood of a major earthquake on the Alpine Fault increase.

“This exercise will help everyone prepare to protect themselves and get through such an event.”

The ShakeOut is an initiative by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management – which runs the Get Ready Get Thru campaign.

Mitchell says: “The Canterbury earthquakes taught us many important lessons about what happens when an earthquake strikes.

“We need to regularly take time to remind ourselves of what to do if a big one hits here.”

Register for ShakeOut and find out what to do if disaster strikes at www.getthru.govt.nz.