July 20, 2018

By: metronz

According to Dileepa from Stuff.co.nz

 According to the findings of Auckland council, approximately around two thousand properties around Auckland are capable of posing a risk to the people or the properties nearby in an average earthquake.

1800 properties have been identified as earth-quake prone and the  owners have been sent notices, as well as eight council-owned buildings are also discovered to be in the same category and notices have been posted on them in the last two months.

Victoria Theatre in Devonport, Leys Institute buildings in Ponsonby, Studio Toi Tu Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn Library and three toilet blocks have the signs posted since few months.

Dean Kimpton, chief operating officer for the Auckland Council said, these are on a list of 59 council-owned buildings identified to be earth-quake prone while some are still being assessed.

The council’s General Manager for building control, Ian McCormick explained, the earthquake strengthening legislation that came in affect in July 2017 had stimulated the assessments.

The legislation provided all the property owners 15 years to find whether their property was prone to earthquake.

McCormick said, the owners of the properties who received notices have the option of arranging their own seismic assessment to prove the council assessment false.

“If they  don’t respond us back within the period of a month we will hold the current assessment position that we’ve got, he said.

The next step from the council would be to resend the notice along with a poster to notify the public that the building may pose a risk in the occurrence of an earthquake.

The council buildings recognized as earthquake-prone have signs printed in black and white that read “the owner of the building is required to carry out building work to ensure that the building is no longer earthquake-prone”.

Dean Kimpton, chief operating officer for the Auckland Council further explained, the building owners have 35 years to strengthen their building.

The property listing of Auckland council for the 2000 buildings needed to be examined, but he further clarified none of the buildings are considered dangerous.

There are no plans to close any of the council-owned property just on the basis of the seismic assessments.

It was observed that the buildings built before 1976, the ones with three plus storeys, or those built with unreinforced masonry were observed more prone to the earthquake than compared to others.

Still, the earthquake risk of Auckland is observed as the least in the country.

The statistics show that since 1840 there has been no earthquake having a magnitude of 6.5 and the city can expect a major earthquake once in every 20,000 years.

According to the Chief operating officer for the Auckland Council, there were “no reliable assessments” of how much the expense could be to strengthen the council-owned buildings.