17 May 2009

Residents complain capital not ready for major disaster

5:48 am on 17 May 2009

Some people attending a heated public debate on the state of Wellington's civil defence say it highlighted just how unprepared the city is for a major disaster.

The city council concedes that less than a quarter of the 34 civil defence units are operational and says more than 95% of people would fail to cope with a catastrophe.

Saturday's meeting was called by United Future leader Peter Dunne, who says the council needs to be transparent and involve the community more.

Some of those in attendance pointed the finger at councillors for the lack of readiness.

However, council operations manager Mike Mendonca stressed the importance of the public doing its part to prepare for disasters.