New Zealand will now be experiencing increased protection from geological hazards thanks to the opening of a world-first monitoring centre.
According to a recent report, the new centre will has around the clock experts who will be monitoring the geological hazards in order to help keep the public safe.
The National Geohazards Monitoring Centre is a purpose built facility located on the GNS Science campus in Lower Hutt, Wellington.
It was officially opened by the Research, Science and Innovation Minister and the Civil Defence Minister
The Centre’s staff will provide monitoring and advisory services for four hazards – tsunami, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides.
No other centre in the world monitors all of these geological hazards in one service.
New Zealanders are aware of the life-threatening geological risks that the country faces and this centre will improve the early warning systems for those events.
Moreover, the Centre will allow ‘24/7 awake’ as opposed to the current on-call basis, reducing response times and improving the flow in important information.
Since GNS Science provides scientific understanding and interpretation of geological events, it is the perfect host for the centre.
In addition, GNS Science operates the GeoNet system which monitors geological threats.
This system allows staff to immediately assess events, the moment they begin.
This is more efficient than the previous system, which relied on automated messages to on-call staff, providing improvements in situational awareness and response times, alongside other service enhancements.
GeoNet also provides monitoring and warning advice to the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), and to the public through social media and the GeoNet app.
Providing speedy and reliable information is critical to keeping New Zealanders safe during events.
Although the forces of nature can’t be controlled, effectively keeping the public informed so they can stay safe is controllable.
In New Zealand, disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and landslides can strike at any time, sometimes without warning.
This highlights the importance of having the ability to respond to such events as quickly as possible with the most accurate information available.
Kiwis will now feel reassured knowing that there are experts keeping an eye on the geological hazards every minute of every day.
The Centre is funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund. The new Centre will be resilient, with a backup facility at GNS Science’s Wairakei site.
The Strategic Science Investment Fund is a fund for strategic investment in research programmes and scientific infrastructure that have long-term beneficial impact on New Zealand’s health, economy, environment and society.