Ruapehu infrastructure unscathed by earthquake
Ruapehu District Council and its road and water contractors have been checking on key infrastructure to ensure that there has been no damage sustained from last night’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the South Island.
Ruapehu Land Transport Manager Warren Furner said that although the epicentre of the large quake was some way a way in the South Island undertaking taking checks of key infrastructure such as bridges, water/wastewater treatment plants and buildings was standard practice with events this big.
“So far there have been no reports or findings of any damage to Council infrastructure,” said Mr. Furner.
“Our water and wastewater plants are all working as they should be although we are continuing to keep a close eye on things at this current time with aftershocks occurring.”
“Our road contractors have been out and about examining the network with a particular focus on structures such as bridges, land movement and localized dropouts and over slips.”
“As a precautionary step we are having an especially close look at the ‘twisted bridge’ on Paparoa Rd to ascertain if there has been any movement as it is a known fault line bridge.”
“The ‘twisted bridge’ is in an area of ongoing land movement and as such there is some heightened risk which justifies taking a closer look.”
“We will also be looking at the data to determine if full inspection of longer multi-span bridges is warranted such as Victor Bridge, Ongarue Town, Manganui o te Ao River Bridge and Te Maire / Mangaohutu No.1.”
“In the interim people should continue to use the bridges as per normal.”
Mr. Furner noted that although the media talk about the size of an earthquake based on its ‘magnitude’ this is not the best measure to use when assessing potential damage to the District’s infrastructure.
“A better measure for anticipating damage is the New Zealand Modified Mercalli (MM) Intensity Scale which in simple terms, measures what the earthquake ‘feels’ like to an observer wherever they happen to observe or feel a quake,” he said.
“Last night’s quake had an MM5 in Owhango which is moderate.”
“Generally, we would not expect signs of damage to occur until over MM8.”
Mr. Furner said that anyone who comes across any road damage or has any concerns about any bridges or other infrastructure should call Council to report it which can be done 24/7 on 07 895 8188 or 06 385 8364.