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Safe and sound .. Goldfields Primary School children gather at an allocated meeting point during the nationwide ShakeOut initiative last week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Thousands of Central Otago reisdents have the skills to keep themselves safe in an earthquake and tsunami.

More than 8000 people from the district registered for last week’s ShakeOut, a nationwide drill which teaches participants how best to react in an earthquake.

The ShakeOut drill and tsunami hikoi [evacuation] were recently held at the same time across the country.

Registrations came from families, schools, individuals, community groups, government agencies and businesses.

Sitting tight .. Children take part in the ShakeOut drill at Goldfields Primary School by sheltering under furniture and covering their heads with their hands. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Both initiatives are considered important because all of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of its coastline is at risk of a tsunami.

A spokesman said although it was not possible to predict when one would happen, people could protect themselves and their families.

New Zealand ShakeOut is held to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake – drop, cover, hold – and to practise their tsunami hikoi if they are in a coastal area.

More than 810,000 Kiwis signed up across the country, which made the event one of the largest participation exercises outside the census, elections and All Blacks matches.