‘Woah! It’s lucky that the earthquake happened in the middle of the night!’
In civil defence terms, making sure that your city’s residents reliably spend half of every twenty four hours tucked up in their bottomless sleeping bags watching, ‘Cats that Make you LOL’ is a pretty good tactic.
It’s also a popular one. The first Christchurch earthquake in 2010 happened at around 5 in the morning, an occurrence that was treated as an almost zen joke;
‘If massive lumps of masonry fall onto the footpath but no-one is there to be squished under them, did they fall at all?’
Ah, yes, they fucking did actually. And if that quake had struck during daylight hours it would have likely killed scores of people. Just like the second one did, six months later. In terms of a drill, it doesn’t get better than this. The 2010 earthquake demonstrated some of the city’s most dangerous weak spots.
But for some reason nothing was done. Buildings were left open, life carried on as normal. I’ve said before, at the time of the first Christchurch quake it seemed as if the city was too invested in the idea that it didn’t get earthquakes to notice that it just had a fucking enormous earthquake.
Wellington, on the other hand, is carefully checking to make sure that, should/when another quake occurs, the city won’t dissolve on top of its residents. Top thinking right there.