Tuesday’s 7.7 magnitude shook all of us, an earthquake of such strength that we hope we will never experience again. The success of how a country deals with the aftermath of a terrible event of such magnitude depends largely on the swift and robust response of the people entrusted in the management of such a hazard in the immediate hours afterwards. These are the people who risk their own safety to ensure the safety and security of others. So, it is with deep gratitude that we must thank our first responders, our law and order enforcement and our Hazard Management teams, all of whom jumped into action once the first tremors had subsided, providing communications, managing our roads, monitoring any tsunami threat and keeping the public safe.
Hazard Management has put in solid systems of communication to reach out to the public via social media and their website, to inform of what has take place and to give advisories with regard to further threats such as a tsunami. For those who prefer a more old-fashioned means of communication, the radio stations also provide a steady stream of updates and Hazard Management also used that medium to send out notifications via its new radio interruption service. We urge readers to download the new Hazard Management App that is soon to be available, giving constant up-to-date information on the situation. We also urge the public not to spread information via social media that has not been properly verified and that which has not been issued by Hazard Management. It is unhelpful to spread gossip and rumour in a volatile and frightening situation, especially when our most vulnerable members of society can be impacted. Instead, please do all you can to avail yourself of the facts from official sources and have a plan in place so you know exactly where to evacuate, should a tsunami warning be issued or should your home be impacted. Aftershocks are inevitable after an earthquake of such magnitude, so we hope that all residents will remain vigilant and safe in the coming weeks.