26 Sep 2012

National earthquake drill held

7:12 pm on 26 September 2012

New Zealand's first ever national earthquake drill took place on Wednesday, with as many as 1.4 million people testing their preparedness for a big shake.

Organised by Civil Defence, the 'ShakeOut' drill at 9.26am aimed to make sure all New Zealanders know to stop, drop, take cover and hold if an earthquake strikes.

Civil Defence spokesperson Jo Guard says it went very smoothly and feedback has been positive.

Ms Guard says despite the recent Christchurch quakes, not every New Zealander knows what to do with many people wrongly believing they should run outside when a tremor occurs.

The ShakeOut was first held in southern California in 2008 and has since spread worldwide.

Civil Defence will now decide whether to make the drill an annual event, as it is in California.