DRC Case Study - 2016 Kaikōura earthquake

At 12.02 a.m. on Monday 14 November 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, the second strongest quake since European settlement, shook the eastern coast of the northern South Island. Lasting for nearly two minutes, the complex earthquake started near Culverden, then moved north-east, jumping between at least 21 faults, both onshore and offshore, along 180 kilometres of the Marlborough coast.

The shaking brought down tens of thousands of landslides from the mountains. Two people died, one in the collapse of a homestead near Kaikōura and one from a head injury.

A Government commissioned report that assesses the economic impact of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts.

The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million.

DRC Case Study Learnings (using the 4 R's of Emergency Management):


– Secure any loose heavy items, especially electrical equipment. NZ standard: 4104 gives guidance on this.

– Ensure your building meets 2007 Building code compliance

– Know how to shut off your utilities (gas shut off valves, water mains, etc)

– Move desks away from earthquake hazards


– Have an earthquake response plan

– Practice earthquake drills

– Have a grab bag ready

– Practice Evacuation plans

– Have a business continuity plan in place


– Drop, Cover, Hold

– Do not get up and move around until shaking stops

– Stay indoors if safe to do so

– Remain calm


– Treat injuries

– Stay away from damaged buildings

– Check staff welfare

– Listening to your radio

– Commence business continuity plan