You keep asking: does Dunedin get earthquakes?


Christchurch’s “seismic hazard” was “about double” Dunedin’s, but should a major quake occur here the impact would be similar, but of a different nature.

Many of the search engine terms we are receiving at What if? Dunedin… are concerned with Dunedin’s proneness to earthquakes.

We suggest you refer to this Seismicity Map (ten years of ‘shallow’ seismicity) at

The map tells us why it might be good to live in Dunedin, Auckland, or north of Auckland.


Earlier this year, in the public interest, we took the liberty (thanks to Paul Le Comte) to ‘re-image’ a map published by the Otago Daily Times, which shows the (known) fault lines of Otago. View the following post:

9.3.11 Dunedin earthquake proneness

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under #eqnz, Geography

6 responses to “You keep asking: does Dunedin get earthquakes?

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 30 Jun 2011
    Pipes beneath museum to be replaced
    By Allison Rudd
    Less than a year after it was laid, most of the concrete floor in the Otago Settlers Museum NZR building is being ripped up again. Earthenware sewerage pipes about 1.5m below floor level had been inspected before the new concrete was laid but cracked in either the September or February earthquakes and needed to be repaired, museum project manager, Bronwyn Simes, said yesterday.
    Read more

  2. Phil

    So. Before laying a solid concrete floor slab which would completely remove the possibility of accessing any underground services, the project team thought it not to be prudent to take the opportunity and renew the existing (almost 100 years old) underground services, which had a noted history of creating problems, first.

    Money well spent.

  3. Elizabeth

    The website of the ShakeOut exercise is

    ### ODT Online Thu, 19 Jul 2012
    Quake drill planned
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin’s emergency response managers will take the opportunity during New Zealand’s first nationwide earthquake drill to practise, in theory, how they would respond to an earthquake emergency in the city. Emergency response services will take part in the New Zealand ShakeOut exercise at 9.26am on September 26, then head to Dunedin’s Civil Defence headquarters in Moray Pl where they will take part in a desk-top exercise responding to an earthquake disaster in the city. They will join the more than 12,000 Otago people, including 8600 in Dunedin, already registered for ShakeOut drill. Organisers are hoping for more than 1 million participants.
    Read more

  4. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 5 Aug 2015
    Acoustic mapping shaking things up in South Dunedin
    By John Gibb
    Trail-blazing geological research which started yesterday is expected to shed light on previously unknown earthquake risk factors, including a possible ancient fault zone, under South Dunedin. […] The study [by University of Otago researchers] aimed to help identify the positions of fault zones and to assess the likely intensity of shaking, based on underlying ground conditions.
    Read more

  5. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Feb 2016
    Church works to make cliff secure in event of quake
    By Vaughan Elder
    A high-wire act involving ropes, harnesses and a cherry picker has been needed to stabilise a cliff behind a Dunedin church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St Clair has contracted Christchurch company Abseil Access to stabilise the cliff so rock remains in place in the event of an earthquake. […] Ryman Healthcare has stabilised another section of the cliff, behind the company’s Frances Hodgkins Retirement Village.
    Read more

  6. Elizabeth

    Fri, 28 Apr 2017
    ODT: Akatore Fault may be ‘serious hazard’
    By Vaughan Elder
    A fault line on Dunedin’s doorstep could cause an earthquake as destructive as 2010’s Canterbury quake. Researchers from the University of Otago’s department of geology and GNS Science have been studying the recent geological history and movements of the Akatore Fault. The fault runs for about 20km onshore, between about Taieri Mouth and Toko Mouth, and possibly more than 40km just offshore further north and south, though its precise length is not yet known. The researchers, led by Prof Mark Stirling, dug trenches near Milton and found the fault had behaved strangely during the past 125,000 years. Cont/

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