In NZ alone, there are about 15,000 quakes every year, though most are minor and undetectable to the country’s 4.3 million inhabitants.
However, about 150 a year are strong enough to justify the description “Shaky Isles”.
The Pacific plate moves at about 50mm a year (about the same rate that fingernails grow), whereas the Australian plate is relatively static.
Seismologists say it has ruptured four times in the past 900 years, each time producing an earthquake of about magnitude 8, lifting the Southern Alps in the process and producing some of NZ’s most spectacular scenery.
Records dating from the 1840s show that the country can expect an average of several magnitude 6 earthquakes every year, one magnitude 7 every 10 years, and a magnitude 8 every century.
The nation’s capital, Wellington, which sits on five significant fault lines, has long been regarded as the most likely city to experience the Big One. The Australian.
A harrowing search for signs of life continues today in the quake-ravaged New Zealand city of Christchurch, with Australians feared among the dead.
Major buildings collapsed and vehicles were crushed when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck at 12.51pm local time.
Thousands of office workers were trapped in crumbled multi-storey buildings, while cars were buried under rubble and the spire toppled from the iconic Christchurch cathedral.
Last night 65 people were confirmed dead. Authorities warned that figure would rise as search and rescue crews combed through the wreckage. Courier Mail. There are also video’s in the article.
AN Australian woman awaiting rescue from a collapsed office building in Christchurch has spoken of being trapped in the dark and unable to move. Courier Mail.
More pictures here at the Courier Mail picture gallery.
Updates on the Earthquake. The Courier Mail.
Christchurch has been rocked by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, sending the region into pandemonium again, not six months after the September 4 quake.
The quake struck at 12.51pm and was at a depth of 5km, 10km southeast of Christchurch. 3 News.co.nz There are also pictures and video’s here as well.
The 7.1 earthquake that hit New Zealand 6mths ago was a bigger earthquake, this earthquake that has recently hit was 6.3 but it was only 5km below the surface, so it spread a lot further and a lot stronger than the earlier quake which was 15km below the surface.
To all those people in New Zealand my heart goes out to you, I have never been in an earthquake so I can only imagine the terror that you all must of gone through. It is heartbreaking to hear so many have died, and listening to the news they are expecting to find more dead. So many people injured, and still trapped, it is a really sad time indeed. To all the people that have lost Loved Ones, Family, Friends, we are thinking about all of you and our hearts are with you.