Presentation on theme: "Natural Events In New Zealand Snowboarding On A Volcano… Many people take advantage of the excitement of living in a potentially hazardous environment."— Presentation transcript:
Natural Events In New Zealand Snowboarding On A Volcano… Many people take advantage of the excitement of living in a potentially hazardous environment. Snowboarder Tony Fletcher tests one of the runs at Turoa ski field in June 1996, while Ruapehu vigorously emits ash.
New Zealanders live in a beautiful but demanding land – the challenges of coping with its rugged mountains, powerful rivers and extremes of weather have helped forge the national character. The natural forces that create the country’s stunning scenery present many hazards, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, storms, floods and landslides. Being prepared to deal with these dangers and constructing our built environment to minimise their effects is the price of living in a dynamic landscape. A surprising number of hazards can be linked to New Zealand’s location. It lies in a geologically unstable zone, straddling two moving sections of the earth’s crust – the Pacific and Australian plates. 95% of New Zealanders live within 200km of the boundary where the plates meet.
Earthquakes Under relentless pressure, New Zealand is shaken daily by earthquakes. Most are imperceptible, but up to 200 each year are big enough to be felt, and a few have caused major damage and many fatalities. The heaviest toll was in 1931, when 258 people died in the earthquake that struck the Napier– Hastings region. Since then, however, very few people have been killed in earthquakes in New Zealand.
Volcanoes New Zealand has many active and dormant volcanoes, and the largest city, Auckland, is built on a volcanic field. The most destructive eruption in NZ history, of Mt Tarawera in 1886, killed at least 120 people. The volcanoes of Tongariro National Park have erupted dozens of times in the past two centuries. This has spread volcanic ash that has disrupted travel. However, the ash has also increased the fertility of the region’s soils. The same magma that feeds the volcanoes powers the geysers, hot springs, and mud pools of New Zealand’s geothermal areas. Thousands of tourists safely view these wonders each year, but some deaths have occurred when their potential dangers have been taken too lightly.