The Wellington region is tectonically active and criss-crossed by many faultlines. While we often feel small earthquakes that don’t cause much damage, many of the active faults in the region are capable of producing large earthquakes.

Earthquake-triggered landslides can damage or destroy buildings in their paths. The extent of landslides depends on the strength and duration of ground shaking, how steep the hillslopes are, and the strength of the underlying soil or rocks.

Liquefaction can occur along flat coastal areas or reclaimed land where the ground is poorly compacted. The ground behaves like a liquid and buildings can sink, tilt or topple over.

An undersea earthquake, or seabed landslide, can cause a tsunami that can wash over low-lying areas.