New Zealand’s 7.0 earthquake was strongest to strike the region in 119 years

July 4, 2012 NEW ZEALANDLast night’s magnitude 7.0 earthquake in the South Taranaki Bight is the largest to strike the region in more than 100 years, GNS Science says. The quake struck at 10.36pm, 60km south-west of Opunake in Taranaki, at a depth of 230km. It was felt strongly around the west coast of the lower North Island, and was widely felt from the Bay of Plenty to Canterbury. No tsunami was generated by the quake. Waiouru resident Adrienne Murphy told the Herald it was the “biggest shake we have felt in years.” Residents in Wellington reported being startled by shakes, which lasted for about 15 seconds. Some said the shakes were strong enough to topple household appliances, but the central Fire Service communications centre said it had received no reports of earthquake-related damage. Wellington resident Sam Rowe said he felt the walls of his house shaking. The South Taranaki Bight is no stranger to large earthquakes; A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck on March 15, 2005, at a depth of 150km. Seismologist Lara Bland said the quake was the largest to strike the South Taranaki Bight in about 119 years. In 1893 a quake struck measuring about magnitude 7.2. Only one aftershock has been recorded following the quake – a magnitude 4.6 aftershock nine minutes later – although GNS Science will be doing a background check today to see if there were others. “But we’re not expecting a very rich aftershock sequence,” Ms Bland said. GNS Science said the quake was typical to other deep North Island tremors, in that the strongest shaking occurred to the east of the epicenter, rather than directly above it. “To an extent, an earthquake that large will often be felt reasonably widely anyway, but because of the subduction zone and where it occurred, the energy has travelled very efficiently back up the dipping plate that it has occurred on so it has come to the surface in a very efficient path,” Ms Bland said. Large earthquakes are not unusual in New Zealand, with a quake larger than magnitude 7 occurring on average every three years.  –NZ Herald
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13 Responses to New Zealand’s 7.0 earthquake was strongest to strike the region in 119 years

  1. Jeremy says:

    Hi, l Clearly remember this one last night, i was on the third floor of the building l am in across the road from the Wellington Regional Hospital. This quake went for about 60 seconds.This hospital is earthquake proofed to 8.3 on the Rechter scale. There is nothing you can do when this happens.


  2. Quazar says:

    The earthquake has since been downgraded to a 6.2


    • New Zealand uses a different seismic rating standard than the U.S.- for the U.S. it is a 6.2 but for the New Zeland, Geo-net rates the quake in their system as a 7.0 still.


      • Herkimer Diamond says:

        Is it because the United States still uses the old english system and every one else uses the metric system?


      • Not really because the USGS bases it earthquakes depth and distance reporting in kilometers and they’re on universal time. Some countries have their own seismic system like Russia, Europe and NZ. It’s up to the country as they are the ones planting the seismometers if you think about it, and not the USGS.


  3. Tom says:

    the map of NZ looks a bit stange


  4. pAR says:

    It was a 6.2


  5. Sørenn Rasmussen says:

    Dont worry They will soon have another one at 8 on any of the scales available. .


  6. Colleen says:

    Scary stuff happening. This heat wave in the eastern and mid western states is becoming crazy. I read where there are more zombie attacks occurring in and around the world. Millions of folks without power and ac, sweltering in this very oppressive heat. I worry about the elderly and the very young in this strange weather we are having. I am sitting in ac right now wondering how much longer it will be before the power grids fail completely? Thank God I have a creek on my property, and a nice cool basement to keep cool in. My heart goes out to those who do not have the comforts of ac, or a cooler place for reprieve from this horrible heat. I think God is trying to warn us that we had better get our lives in sync with Him. I cannot believe that the headlines are only covering what is happening in the political world. What about the physical world? Or better yet, the spiritual world? Things are getting more and more interesting with each and every passing day. God is great! Jesus must be coming very soon. I sure hope so. God bless everyone on this forum.


    • Christine says:

      Zombie attacks? And it’s not just the midwest and eastern parts of the US that are suffering from heat. All around the world there is oppressive heat and wildfires as well. There is definitely something going on right now. It is scary.
      The only thing I can think of to do is store up on water and food for myself and children and my newly born grand child and pray we make it through this.


  7. suz says:

    How did we ever survive when no one had air conditioning…..I remember we slept outside at night on our porches and everyone went down by the lake where it was cooler in the evening and the community pools were crowded. When I visited Egypt I experienced 50 deg. C heat….it was an experience for sure. Cairo came alive at night after the sun went down when it was cooler and the entire family took to the streets to eat and visit. We have been spoiled by our air conditioning and now it’s hard to cope.


    • merle says:

      To Suz, you’re right, when I was a kid we also slept on our porch all summer. We didn’t have AC and we didn’t have a pool either. I have these things now, but I can do without…my children on the other hand probably can’t. I believe we have taken to pampering to a new level and have made it very difficult for new generations to survive in the natural world.


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