Alpine Fault Science Presentation Returns to Oxford

North Canterbury residents will have a chance to hear from leading natural hazard scientist, Professor Tom Wilson of University Of Canterbury about the impacts and consequences of a future magnitude 8 earthquake along the Alpine Fault, and how people can become better prepared for it.

A public science presentation will be held Tuesday 1 December at 7pm in the Oxford Town Hall. It was initially planned to tour the South Island earlier in March as part of the AF8 Roadshow: The Science Beneath Our Feet, however was cancelled due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

AF8 Programme Lead, Alice Lake-Hammond says “We live in a stunning part of the world and while the thought of an AF8 earthquake is scary, if we didn’t have an Alpine Fault we wouldn’t have the beautiful South Island landscape as we know it today. Understanding our home and its vulnerabilities, raising awareness and sharing knowledge are essential in building our collective preparedness for future events.”

“We’ve heard the great feedback from last year’s events, so we’re excited to have Science Beneath Our Feet visit Oxford,” said Waimakariri District Emergency Management Advisor, Brennan Wiremu. “We know the Alpine Fault will have a significant impact on our District, so the more we understand the science behind it, the better we are placed to prepare and respond.”

EQC Head of Resilience Strategy and Research Dr. Jo Horrocks says it’s vital that South Island communities continue to connect with information about the risks posed by the Alpine Fault and how they can prepare. “The Alpine Fault is one of Aotearoa’s most well-known natural hazards. We’re proud to support AF8’s outreach work to help us translate knowledge of the risk into preparedness actions that will make our homes and communities more resilient when future quakes occur.”

AF8 Science-lead, Dr. Caroline Orchiston agrees “While we can’t predict when earthquakes will occur, scientific research has shown that the Alpine Fault has a history of generating regular, large earthquakes. The next major Alpine Fault event is likely to occur within the lifetime of most of us, or of our children and young people, for whom it will have major short and long-term impacts.”