January 1, 2012 – NEW ZEALAND – An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale on Saturday struck near New Zealand’s Christchurch city, which had witnessed serious damage after being hit by 6.3-magnitude earthquake in February. On Sunday, the South Island was hit again by two 5.0 magnitude earthquakes- 18 and 24 km from Christchurch and both earthquakes were below 24 km in depth. The earthquake’s epicenter was located at the depth of some 10 km, only 14 km from Christchurch. First tremors were registered at 1.44 pm on Saturday local time. No death or casualties, however, were reported and no tsunami alert was issued. Last week, the area was hit by three powerful aftershocks, measuring 5.3-5.8 on the Richter scale. New Zealand’s second largest city Christchurch was hit by a series of aftershocks following the 7.1-magnitude earthquake Sep 4, 2010. The most devastating aftershock measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale rattled the area in February, causing extensive damage and leaving over 180 people dead. –Hindustan Times
Psychological stress mounting: Christchurch was rocked by a swarm of earthquakes overnight, the biggest a magnitude 5.5 jolt, further fraying residents’ nerves but causing no new damage. The 5.5 aftershock came at 5.45am and was centered 20 kilometers east of Christchurch at a depth of 15 kilometers. GeoNet have said there were actually two tremors of the same magnitude 12 seconds apart and they were felt strongly in Christchurch. Power company Orion said the aftershock caused a transformer at its Dallington substation to trip, leaving 10,000 customers without power. Power was restored by 8am, while Transpower had checked equipment at its Bromley substation, Orion said. “We are now dealing with a few minor faults and should have them resolved in couple of hours,” said Stu Kilduff, Orion Operations Manager. Christchurch City Council says the aftershocks have not caused any new damage to the city. A power outage in the Brooklands, Burwood area affected a small number of pump stations but these are now operating. Residents are reporting items tossed onto the floor by the tremor which they say was accompanied by a rumble. Abbey Leila Sullings summed up the feelings of many in Christchurch when she posted on Facebook that she is over the earthquakes and needs some sleep. Steven McCoy posted: “When will they stop?!” Alyssa Smith posted that her family wants to move out of Christchurch but is too poor to move. “Hundreds in our situation but count our lucky stars we’re not in Japan!” she wrote, referring to the magnitude 7.0 quake that jolted eastern and northeastern Japan on Sunday.
Geological stability eroding: The 5.5 tremor was followed by a 4.2 quake at 5.50 am centered 20 km north east of Christchurch, and two 4.1 quakes at 5.54 am and 6.06 am in the same area. Another, measuring 3.9, was recorded in the same area at 6.49 am and another of 3.8 magnitude at 7.33 am. Later, a 4.1 magnitude quake was recorded at 9.01 am in the same area, followed by a 3.7 tremor at 10.04 am. Another 3.7 shake was felt at 10.18 am, centered 10km east of Christchurch and a 3.9 quake was recorded at 12.28 pm 20 km east of the city. Earlier in the day, a quake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale struck at 5.03am, centered 20 kilometers north east of Christchurch at a depth of eight kilometers, after a 3.5 jolt was recorded at 2.20 am in the same area. A 4.3 tremor was felt at 1.31 am, in the same area and 12 kilometers deep. That came four minutes after a 5.1 jolt centered 20 km north east of Lyttelton at a depth of 15km. Before midnight, there was a magnitude 4 tremor at 10.05pm, 10 km north east of Christchurch, seven km deep, and a 3.5 jolt at 7.38pm, 20 kilometers north east of the city and 5km deep. The continuing tremors follow the two major quakes measuring 5.8 and 6 that rocked the city on the afternoon of December 23. –TVNZ
As the map above shows, New Zealand is under assault from ever-intensifying seismic forces that have been exacerbated by geological Earthchange which has seen both more pronounced tectonic plate agitation and volcanism in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Archipelagos and Island arcs near tectonic plate junctions may be among the planet’s first casualities from this new dynamic catastrophism. –The Extinction Protocol