15 Oct 2015

National earthquake drill to take place

9:33 am on 15 October 2015

At 9:15am this morning, New Zealanders across the country dropped, covered and held as part of the national ShakeOut earthquake drill.

Reacting quickly to drop, cover and hold is still the right action to take in the event of an earthquake

Reacting quickly to drop, cover and hold is still the right action to take in the event of an earthquake Photo: Facebook/ShakeOut

Based on the now-global Great Southern California ShakeOut, the country last took part in 2012. This year, it hoped the number of participants would grow from 1.34 million people to 1.5 million.

It was coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and designed to help business, schools and families check their earthquake emergency plans, supplies and processes.

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye had urged as many people as possible to take part, with Tuesday's earthquake east of Pongaroa serving as a "timely reminder" of New Zealand's frequent geothermal activity.

"By making drop, cover and hold our instinctive reaction as soon as we feel shaking start, we can give ourselves a much greater chance of getting through an earthquake unscathed," she said.

More information on what to do before, during and after an earthquake is available on www.shakeout.govt.nz, and on the accompanying Facebook page.