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Archive for September 4th, 2010

Powerful Quake Strikes Christchurch, NZ

Posted by feww on September 4, 2010

Collapse of NZ May Have Started

Earthquake measuring up to 7.4Mw Jolts Much of South Island, New Zealand

The quake occurred close to Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, and New Zealand’ second-largest urban area.

The mainshock was followed by at least one large aftershock measuring up to 5.5Mw.

The earthquake has caused widespread damage, but there were no reports of deaths as of posting. Two were seriously injured.

There was no report of a destructive tsunami.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker described the event as “sharp, vicious earthquake” which had caused “significant damage” in the area.

Daylight had shown that the extent of destruction was considerably more significant than initially thought, he said on NZ radio.

“There would not be a house, there would not be a family in our city that has not in some way have damage done to their person, to their property.”

“I think it’s like an iceberg; there is… below the visible line, significant structural damage,” the mayor said.


Earthquake Location Map. Source: USGS. Enhanced by FEWW


Photo by Debbie McBride: “There have been something like 30 after shocks since the quake, it’s such a horrible scary time – we feel like we are on edge and constantly moving.” More Photos …


A part of the premises of a gas station is raised at Bexley in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010.. (AP Photo/NZPA, David Alexander). Image may be subject to copyright.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude 7.0 [USGS politically revised estimate]
  • Date-Time:
    • Friday, September 03, 2010 at 16:35:46 UTC
    • Saturday, September 04, 2010 at 04:35:46 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 43.530°S, 172.120°E
  • Depth: 5 km (3.1 miles)
  • Region: SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND
  • Distances:
    • 45 km (30 miles) W of Christchurch, New Zealand
    • 200 km (125 miles) SSE of Westport, New Zealand
    • 290 km (180 miles) NNE of Dunedin, New Zealand
    • 330 km (205 miles) SW of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
  • Location Uncertainty Error:  estimate not available
  • Source: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • Event ID: us2010atbj

FEWW FORECAST FOR NEW ZEALAND – POSTED ON September 30, 2008

I. 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 include ‘extinct’ volcanoes]
    • Taupo Volcanic Zone
    • Bombay Hills
    • Auckland volcanic field
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mt Horrible volcano
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mount Cargill

II. Worst Case Condition for 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 %

What New Zealand Earthquake Experts Said

Interestingly, our colleague TERRES wrote on April 13, 2009

Apparently, New Zealanders are advised by their experts not to worry about the ‘big one.’

Quakes ‘no cause for worry’
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2308107/Quakes-no-cause-for-worry

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