Stay in your seat if quake rattles stadium
The All Blacks might get you out of your seat on Saturday, but an earthquake shouldn't, Westpac Stadium says.
If a quake should strike during the Bledisloe Cup test, spectators are being advised to stay in their seats, rather than rushing for the exits or on to the pitch.
The All Blacks will take on the Wallabies in front of the stadium's biggest crowd in recent years. A total 38,000 fans are set to pack the stadium to full capacity, and stadium chief executive Shane Harmon says they should feel confident.
The stadium was closed as a precaution after Friday's 6.6 magnitude earthquake, and subsequent engineers' assessments found no structural damage.
"The stadium is safe and a very strong and structurally sound building - we have seen that in the last couple of earthquakes," Mr Harmon said. "We are looking forward to people coming to the game, feeling safe, and we hope they enjoy their night."
But if a quake were to strike during the match, people would be advised to remain in their seats and await instructions over the loudspeakers and on the big screen, he said.
The stadium was built to meet building code standards and had recently undergone more assessment to assure its strength against seismic risks.
In the event of a large-scale disaster, the stadium could become a place of refuge. Its 48,000-square-metre bowl and its catering facilities meant it was one of few big open spaces able to host thousands of people.
Emergency authorities would consider using it for displaced people if it escaped major damage, Wellington civil defence controller Bruce Pepperell said.
"If we had an evacuation scenario where we had thousands of people needing shelter, there are not many better opportunities, and that may well be one of the best and most viable options."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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