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The quakes continue to rock NZ, as they always have

September 7, 2010

It’s nice to know that people care.

I head to Auckland (via earthquake revenged Christchurch) in a little over a month. My friends and loved ones have shared with me their care and concern. What happened in Christchurch a couple of days ago is sure to elicit concern, however, the smaller “after shocks” that seem to be popping up all over the country are no cause for concern. Well for me, at least. They pose many risks for already risk structures.

I’ll be fine.

We had a 5.4 magnitude earthquake here in Adelaide a few months ago. That was a big quake for this city. It was widely felt. However, people don’t realise that quakes of lesser magnitude occur every single day. In Australia. In New Zealand. All over the world.

That brings me to a neat website I found, GeoNat, which shares with the public some pretty interesting, though unknown facts about seismic activity in New Zealand. Since 1960 there have been 1,276 earthquakes between 5.0 – 5.9 in magnitude recorded in and around New Zealand. In 2009 there were 56 quakes of this magnitude recorded. Less powerful quakes are in their hundreds each year.

See attached the graphic of the shallow quakes that have been recorded in New Zealand in the past ten years. It’s fascinating. And what’s more, it’s data that isn’t shared with the public in amidst all the sensational (though, in parts, justified) journalism that is filling our TV screens.

The same thing happened in Adelaide. The quake we all felt featured in the news for days and weeks, but all the other day-to-day activity was thought not to even exist.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    September 11, 2010 4:44 pm

    Been watching your website, as I am planning to walk some of Te Araroa towards the end of next year (depending how much time we can get off work).
    No reason for anyone to worry about you coming here in a month. There’s still the research saying that the “big one” (when the alpine fault next moves, which is on average every 300 years, and last occurred 300 years ago) is due. It’s expected to be much bigger than the 7.1 last weekend. But it also may not happen for another 300 years, and if you were to let small odds like that put you off, well you’d never do anything.
    As you say, the ongoing aftershocks are only damaging already-damaged buildings. And in a month they’ll be all but over.
    (One of our aftershocks that I recall was a 5.4. I lay in bed thinking about getting under the bed but decided it was not big enough a shake to warrant moving. The 7.1 however, was a real good ride. and the 5.1 aftershock on Wednesday morning centred in Chch was worrying because I was at work on the 3rd floor of a 6 floor building that is known not to meet earthquake safety standards!)

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