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Powerful 7.8 M Quake Strikes New Zealand Region

Posted by feww on July 15, 2009

Magnitude 7.8 M Earthquake Strikes Off West Coast of South Island, New Zealand

A powerful earthquake measuring magnitude 7.8 occurred off west coast of South Island, New Zealand, about 150 km  WNW of Invercargill, at 09:22:32 UTC, USGS reported.

The mainshock, which occurred at a depth of 35 km, was followed by a large aftershock measuring 5.8 Mw some 20 km WSW of the mainshock about 20 minutes later. [Location, 45.991°S, 166.238°E; depth, 35km; event ID, us2009jcat/USGS]

The aftershock was reported as measuring 6.1 on Richter scale, and at a depth of 5km, by New Zealand’s GNS Science Earthquake Information.

FEWW EarthModel simulations suggest the latest earthquakes may well be a prelude to an extended period of intense, likely catastrophic, seismic and volcanic activities in the New Zealand region. Lots of ‘fireworks’ may follow.  [See links below for forecasts and travel advisories.]

On May 9, 2009, FEWW Moderators issued the following warning to tourists planning to visit New Zealand:

A Warning to Visitors to New Zealand:

Climatological and Geological Warning! The New Zealand region is about to experience significant climatological events and large-scale geological and tectonic activity over an extensive period of time. Would be visitors are advised to stay out of the area for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s Alpine Fault – Source: Stuff NZ. Image may be subject to copyright. SEE Fair Use Notice!

What the local experts said

It’s interesting and quite comforting [sic] to note, as our colleague TERRES pointed out earlier, the local experts had assured New Zealanders “there was no cause for worry,”  and that the frequent quakes earlier this year were not “leading up to the ‘big one.'”

10-degree Map Centered at 45°S,165°E

NZSI- us2009jcap
Earthquake Location. Original Map: USGS EHP

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 7.8
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 09:22:32 UTC
    • Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 08:22:32 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 45.721°S, 166.643°E
  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
  • Distances:
    • 150 km (95 miles) WNW of Invercargill, New Zealand
    • 175 km (110 miles) WSW of Queenstown, New Zealand
    • 300 km (185 miles) W of Dunedin, New Zealand
    • 825 km (510 miles) SW of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 11.1 km (6.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
  • Parameters: NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=322.8 km, Rmss=1.58 sec, Gp= 54°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009jcap

Seismic Hazard Map [USGS]

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

pop-expo est

Population exposure estimates are NOT a direct estimate of earthquake damage; comparable shaking will result in significantly lower losses in regions with well built structures than in regions with vulnerable structures. [USGS]


On September 30, 2008, FEWW wrote:

Magnitude 7 Earthquake Hits Kermadec Islands

Implication for New Zealand Islands:

  • A substantial increase in the frequency of earthquake striking the twin islands.
  • More earthquakes with magnitude 6 or larger.
  • A marked increased in large explosive volcanic eruptions, especially in the following zones [also includes ‘extinct’ volcanoes]
    • Taupo Volcanic Zone
    • Bombay Hills
    • Auckland volcanic field
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mt Horrible volcano
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mount Cargill

Worst Case Condition for New Zealand Islands:

Will a magnitude 9.8 (MW) earthquake centered at 42° 00′ 59″ South, 175° 05′ 07″ East herald the end of New Zealand Islands?

  • Large earthquakes and massive volcanic eruptions could potentially destroy much of New Zealand structures and claim many lives.
  • Earthquake and volcano-triggered waves could also give rise to 40 to 50-meter tsunami that would engulf the coastal areas and low-lying lands throughout New Zealand [could also affect parts of Australia’s eastern seaboard,] compounding the damage.
  • A super/mega colossal Plinian/Ultra-Plinian eruption occurring in New Zealand’s North Island simultaneously [or within a short period of time] with a magnitude 9.8 earthquake off the eastern coast of New Zealand could claim many lives.
  • Probability of occurrence:
    1. Event 1.  A magnitude 9.8 earthquake striking off the eastern coast of New Zealand with (i) the foreshocks ripping through Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo areas, (ii) the mainshock leveling Wellington, Palmerstone North, Marlborough, Nelson and Christchurch, and (iii) the aftershock causing substantial damage as far south as Invercargill: 85%
    2. Event 2. A super/ mega colossal Plinian/Ultra-Plinian eruption in the North Island: 72%  [South Island: 57%]
    3. Event 1 and Event 2 occurring simultaneously, or within a short period of time: 64 %

Related News Links:

Related Links:

9 Responses to “Powerful 7.8 M Quake Strikes New Zealand Region”

  1. Ian Williams said

    Hi Guys – I am fascinated with this as i have a ring side seat for the big show in NZ – where did you get the map ref? This is one of the key sites Anadarko surveyed and they will or already have, drilled. It is my belief that NZ has been set up for the world’s first major Geo-engineering exercise and invasion and rape and subjewgation to the New World Odor, Comintern, and the Crown Cabal.

  2. feww said

    M5.8 – 48km SSW of Brooklyn, [30 km east of Seddon ] New Zealand
    Time: 2013-07-21 04:17:09 UTC+09:00
    Location: 41.712°S, 174.496°E
    Depth: 12.6km
    Source: USGS/EHP
    Local news links
    Big quake shakes central New Zealand
    Wellington and the upper South Island were hit by another “severe” earthquake
    …it was felt from the central North Island down to Christchurch in the south, with some reports of damage in the Marlborough/Wellington areas.

  3. feww said

    Magnitude 5.7, Friday, July 19 2013 at 9:06:39 am (NZST) – July 18 2013 at 21:06:39UTC

    Latitude, Longitude -41.55, 174.41
    Intensity: severe [Local scale]
    Depth: 8 km
    Magnitude: 5.7R
    Location: 30 km east of Seddon, New Zealand
    Source: Geonet
    Related Links
    Local news report

  4. feww said

    Magnitude 5.7, Saturday, December 3 2011 at 7:19 pm (NZDT), 30 km east of Picton.
    Refr: 3620927
    NZDT: Sat, Dec 3 2011 7:19 pm
    Magnitude: 5.7
    Depth: 60 km
    Distance: 30 km east of Picton
    Source: NZ Geonet

    GeoNet says the quake is the largest they have recorded in the area for 20 years.

  5. feww said

    As of 00:00:01 UTC Friday July 17, USGS has reported 11 aftershocks, 9 of which were larger than magnitude 5, with the largest measuring magnitude 6.0
    Earthquake Details [Magnitude 6.0 – OFF WEST COAST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND, N.Z.]
    Magnitude: 6.0
    Date-Time: Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 22:18:22 UTC [Friday, July 17, 2009 at 09:18:22 AM at epicenter]
    Location: 46.166°S, 166.135°E
    Depth: 21.8 km (13.5 miles)
    + 175 km (105 miles) W of Invercargill, New Zealand
    + 235 km (145 miles) WSW of Queenstown, New Zealand
    + 340 km (210 miles) W of Dunedin, New Zealand
    + 885 km (550 miles) SW of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
    Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.5 km (4.7 miles); depth +/- 19 km (11.8 miles)
    Parameters: NST= 68, Nph= 68, Dmin=144.2 km, Rmss=0.87 sec, Gp= 54°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8
    Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID: us2009jdcj

  6. feww said

    Aftershock # 7
    Magnitude 5.4
    Date-Time Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 00:44:50 UTC
    Location 46.226°S, 166.087°E
    Event ID us2009jdae

  7. feww said

    Two more aftershocks raise the total to six: [Source: USGS]

    Aftershock # 5
    Magnitude 5.1
    Date-Time Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 23:41:20 UTC
    Location 45.380°S, 167.284°E
    Event ID us2009jccc

    Aftershock # 6
    Magnitude 5.3
    Date-Time Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 00:24:06 UTC
    Location 46.090°S, 166.136°E
    Event ID us2009jdad

  8. feww said

    USGS has reported two additional aftershocks making a total of 4 aftershocks since the mainschock struck.

    Aftershock # 3
    Magnitude 5.2
    Date-Time Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 10:01:49 UTC
    Location 45.763°S, 166.460°E
    Event ID us2009jcbd


    Aftershock # 4
    Magnitude 5.3
    Date-Time Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 13:50:44 UTC
    Location 45.380°S, 166.803°E
    Event ID us2009jca3

  9. feww said

    GNS New Zealand reported another large aftershock detailed below

    Information about this earthquake:
    Reference Number: 3124869/G
    Universal Time: July 15 2009 at 13:50
    NZ Standard Time: Thursday, July 16 2009 at 1:50 am
    Latitude, Longitude: 45.40°S, 166.50°E
    Focal Depth: 5 km
    Richter magnitude: 5.9
    Region : Fiordland

    * 100 km west of Te Anau
    * 120 km north-west of Tuatapere
    * 180 km north-west of Invercargill
    * 320 km west of Dunedin

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