Region won't go all out in drill

18:58, Sep 24 2012

Canterbury will not play a major part in this week's national earthquake drill because it has "been there and done that".

The New Zealand ShakeOut will be the country's biggest quake drill, with about 1.3 million people pledged to drop, cover and hold at 9.26am tomorrow.

The drill is not being heavily promoted in Canterbury out of respect for those traumatised by the quakes.

The region is familiar with the quake drill after more than two years of quakes.

Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group training co-ordinator James Thompson said Canterbury would not participate fully in the drill because "we've had real ones".

"We are not going all out and promoting it to the community like a lot of other New Zealand councils are because we have been there and done that and there is still a bit of sensitivity in Christchurch," he said. "We have to be a bit careful about it. As emergency managers we would like to promote it, but we know there are sensitivities there, so we have to be aware of that."

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The number of people signed up to participate in the drill is lower in Canterbury than other regions - 83,959 compared with 163,000 in the Wellington region.

About 55,000 people have signed up in Christchurch City, compared with 77,000 people in Wellington City.

About 24,000 teachers and pupils in Christchurch schools will take part in the drill, along with about 10,000 people from the city's health sector and 3000 from local government.

The Press