16. Natural Hazards

Branch down across Finlayson Rd in Ruatangata.
 

Summary

RPS objective

· To avoid or mitigate the adverse effects of natural hazards by minimising and where practicable, avoiding the risk to life and damage to property, infrastructural services and other aspects of the environment, from natural hazard events.

Natural hazards affecting Northland

· Flooding and other weather-related hazards are the most widespread and common natural hazards in Northland. Otherwise the levels of natural hazards that Northland region is exposed to are relatively low.

· Of the weather-related hazards, Northland is more frequently at risk from severe convection storms generated by warm moist air masses, some being ex-tropical cyclones, which produce heavy rain and sometimes strong winds.

· Of the other potential natural hazards, landslide and debris avalanches are the most significant for Northland.

Response

· A broad scale review of natural hazards facing the region and more detailed coastal hazard assessments have been completed.

· Flooding hazard assessments have been carried out for some rivers, such as the Awanui River. However, this work is ongoing and there is a substantial amount of detailed survey and modelling work still to be done throughout the region, so that the Regional and District Councils and communities can better understand flood risks and in turn assess risk reduction options.

· Development and implementation of the Awanui River Flood Management Plan, including significant channel works to restore the capacity of the scheme, hydraulic modelling, and installation of telemetry water level and rainfall gauges to provide a better warning system.

· The Regional Council operates a hydrometric network, which includes 54 telemetered sites throughout Northland. These sites provide real-time data, which is used to monitor river levels and provide flood warnings where possible, during periods of extreme rainfall.

· The Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is working well towards reducing the potential effects of hazards and promoting community and Council readiness to respond to and recover from emergencies.

· Working with communities to develop community response plans to ensure that communities collectively understand how they will manage in any future event that threatens the community, particularly by identifying roles, responsibilities and resources before an event occurs. Approximately 40 communities in Northland would benefit from a community response plan, for which about half have been started or completed.

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Published: 03 Apr 2008