Hey GNS, explaining is losing

GNS basically has only one job, and it appears they cocked that up.

GNS Science says it was taken by surprise by the tsunami that followed last Monday’s earthquake.

The Crown research institute said it was not the only one – its international colleagues were also caught out.

GNS director Ken Gledhill said it was clear from satellite radar and GPS that the earthquake ruptured several faultlines from Culverden to Cape Campbell.

But one of them behaved in an unexpected way.

“The tsunami turned out to be a surprise, and it wasn’t a surprise just for us – my international colleagues had the same issue,” Dr Gledhill said.

“Large on-land earthquakes do not usually cause tsunami – we did not know it had gone off-shore.”  

At the same briefing this afternoon, Civil Defence director Sarah Stuart-Black said people should not rely on official tsunami warnings alone.

“People should heed those natural warnings. If it’s so strong that people have trouble standing up; or is rolling for more than a minute; or the sea comes up higher or it recedes out, people should immediately evacuate inland or uphill and that is critical.”

No system could provide that assurance when communities had less than minutes to make a decision, Ms Stuart-Black said.

We pay these guys not to get surprised. But seriously, saying that people shouldn’t heed official channels? Sarah Two-Fathers needs sacking, but she is a civil servant so will probably get a pay rise and glowing reference.

Big Gerry isn’t too happy either:

Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has blasted comments made by the head of Geonet – saying he feels blindsided.

Brownlee said he took issue with Dr Ken Gledhill, who works for GNS Science and heads its Geonet department, talking publicly about how better technology would help the service, when no approach had been made to the Government.

Brownlee said he would contact the leadership of GNS Science, including acting chief executive Neal Wai Poi, tomorrow and express that view.

That centred on the fact that Gledhill or his team had not made an approach or report to the Government about their view that a better monitoring system was desirable.

Gledhill spoke to media from the Beehive’s civil defence bunker today. He said his team had a good idea of what system improvements could be made, but hadn’t yet asked the Government to support those changes.

It shouldn’t be hard to solve. John Key just needs to get the Israeli ambassador in and ask him how we can convert the alert system in Israel for rocket attacks to alert Kiwis of tsunami and other events. No need to re-invent the wheel.

 

– RadioNZ, NZ Herald

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