Alpine Fault defined by the Southern Alps

Project AF8 is a cutting edge risk scenario-based earthquake response planning project, informed by thorough earthquake source, expression, and consequences science. The focus of the project is New Zealand’s South Island Alpine Fault.

The Alpine Fault is estimated to regularly produce an approximately Magnitude 8 earthquake, with a statistical return rate of 300 years. The last such quake being 299 years ago.  An outline on the Alpine Fault can be found at the GNS Science website.

The 2010-12 Canterbury earthquake sequence, including the 22 February 2011 Christchurch quake which resulted in 185 deaths, over 7,000 injuries, damage to tens of thousands of homes, wide-spread infrastructure and environmental damage, and the largest emergency response New Zealand has ever seen.

Lessons from these earthquakes and the responses to them, as well as other significant recent disaster responses, have indicated a need for appreciably more sophisticated hazard-specific planning.

Project AF8 commenced in July 2016, with funding from the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management’s Resilience Fund, and is managed by Emergency Management Southland on behalf of all South Island CDEM Groups.

A detailed maximum-credible event scenario will be produced in November 2016 to inform a series of multi-agency planning workshops throughout the South Island to mid-2017. The South Island Alpine Fault Earthquake (SAFER) Plan will be developed in 2017-18, implemented in 2018 and exercised in 2018-19.

Project AF8 is being developed in conjunction the review of the Wellington Earthquake National Initial Response Plan 2010.