WELLINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A new center providing enhanced monitoring of natural geological hazards manned 24 hours a day in New Zealand was officially opened on Tuesday.
New Zealand now has around the clock experts on the lookout to help keep the public safe from geological hazards, said Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.
The National Geohazards Monitoring Center is a purpose-built facility located on the GNS Science campus in Lower Hutt, Wellington, and is manned by a team of geohazard analysts.
The center's staff will provide monitoring and advisory services for tsunami, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides, Woods said, adding no other center in the world monitors all of these geological hazards in one service.
"New Zealanders are aware of the life-threatening geological risks that our country faces and this center will improve the early warning systems for those events," she said.
"The center will allow '24/7 awake' as opposed to the current on-call basis, reducing response time and improving the flow in important information," the minister added.
Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi said that providing speedy and reliable information is critical to keeping New Zealanders safe during events.
"We can't control the forces of nature, but we can control how effectively we keep the public informed so they can stay safe," Faafoi said.
In New Zealand, disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and landslides can strike at any time, sometimes without warning.