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All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes. Each year, more than 15,000 earthquakes are recorded in New Zealand, but only around 100 - 150 are strong enough to be felt.

Earthquakes can trigger other hazards, like landslides, avalanches, flash floods from dam bursts, fires and tsunami.

While we can’t predict when an earthquake will happen, you can reduce your risk by knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Get ready for earthquakes

There are simple steps that you, your family and workplace can do to be prepared for earthquakes.

Here are four easy things you can do to get ready:

  • Move heavy items and books to lower shelves.
  • Get hooks for your art and pictures (single nails won’t stay secure).
  • Stick fragile objects to surfaces.
  • Identify places in each room to drop, cover, hold.


Earthquake activity in Taranaki

While Taranaki normally is not known for strong earthquakes, there are several active fault lines on- and off-shore, particularly in the Inglewood, Waverley and Oaonui areas.

Around 200 - 300 earthquakes are recorded each year in Taranaki, which accounts for about 2% of the typical number of earthquakes located in New Zealand annually. In Taranaki, up to ten of those might be large enough to be felt by residents.

Most of the shallow earthquakes in Taranaki are centered west of Mt Taranaki (Cape Egmont Fault Zone), with only a few events beneath or close to Taranaki Mounga.

Deep earthquakes are mainly located in the Hāwera area, caused by the bottom of the Pacific Plate subducting beneath the North Island. In the east of Taranaki, a band of activity continues almost to Mt Ruapehu.