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Thread: Quake sparks NZ-Australia alert

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    Default Quake sparks NZ-Australia alert

    Hope everyone down that way is safe and well.

    Quake sparks NZ-Australia alert
    Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 14:58 UK



    Tsunami warnings were issued earlier for parts of New Zealand and south-east Australia after a strong earthquake.

    The tremor struck around the tip of New Zealand's South Island, generating warnings of a low-level tsunami.

    People in coastal areas were advised to move to higher ground, but there were no reports of major damage or injuries.

    New Zealand said the quake, west of Invercargill, measured 6.6 magnitude, although US and Japanese geologists recorded it as stronger, at 7.8.

    It struck 5km (three miles) below ground in the remote Fiordland region at 2122 (0922 GMT), said New Zealand's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, though US experts said it was much deeper.

    'Go to higher ground'

    A 6.1-magnitude aftershock was recorded in the same area about 20 minutes later, said the government institute.

    New Zealand issued a tsunami warning for a string of its coastal towns and cities, but later cancelled it.

    Australia said a tsunami was detected in the Tasman Sea heading towards the country's south-east coast.

    It was not expected to be a destructive wave, but could bring strong currents and coastal flooding, said Australia's Tsunami Warning Centre.

    "People in areas with threat to land inundation and flooding are strongly advised by emergency authorities to go to higher ground or at least 1km inland," said the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

    The tremor lasted at least a minute and was felt as a rolling motion across New Zealand's South Island, according to reports.

    Local media said the quake caused minor cracks in some buildings and sent stock tumbling from supermarket shelves.

    People ran from restaurants in Queenstown as buildings shook, reports New Zealand's Herald newspaper. Power and phone lines were severed in some places.

    "The whole house was moving, the door was moving in the doorframe, and the fence posts were moving," Invercargill resident Simon Wilson told Radio New Zealand.

    Another Invercargill householder said his wife and their three young children huddled under the dining table during the quake, reported the New Zealand Press Association.

    New Zealand records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, but only about 150 are felt by residents and fewer than 10 annually cause damage.

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    Quake 'so long it made me feel seasick'
    Page 1 of 2 .......9:43AM Thursday Jul 16, 2009
    By Edward Gay

    The quake that rocked Southland last night has been reported by nzherald.co.nz readers from across the Mainland and parts of the lower North Island.

    GNS recorded the quake as measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale at 9.22pm and followed 20 minutes later by a quake measuring 6.1.

    The first of the quakes was 5km deep and was centred 90km north-west of the Southland town of Tuatapere.

    Tash from Invercargill said it was the most exciting thing to happen in the city in quite a while.

    "The earthquake was pretty wild. I was watching TV and I could feel my chair moving so instantly thought it was one of my cats scratching it. I asked my mum which one it was and she looked at me strangely."

    She said they both "started freakin' out...running around the lounge grabbing things that might fall" once they realised it was an earthquake.

    Chantelle Tou also lives in Invercargill and said the quake "seemed to last forever".

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    Southland warned: prepare for quake emergency
    3:32PM Friday Jul 17, 2009


    The 7.8-magnitude "rolling" quake cleared large areas of forest at Lake Purser, south of Dusky Sound. Photo / Simon Cox

    Southlanders are being urged to prepare for a civil emergency as strong aftershocks continued to rock the southern region today, following Wednesday night's 7.8 earthquake.

    Four tremors measuring over five on Richter magnitude hit the area this morning .

    The first, measuring 5.3 in strength jolted Southland residents at 4.13am. It was centred 120km west of Tuatapere and was 30km deep.

    The second at 5.27am measuring 5.6 was centred 130km northwest of Tuatapere and was 12km deep, the third at 10.18am measuring 5.5 was centred 150km west of Tuatapere and was 5km deep, and the fourth at 11.01am measuring 5.2 was centred 100km west of Tuatapere and 5km deep.

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    Six more quakes shake Southland
    By EVAN HARDING - The Southland Times
    Last updated 05:00 20/07/2009

    Another six earthquakes shook Southland at the weekend, all measuring between 4.5 and 5.5 on the Richter scale.

    The quakes, three on Saturday and another three yesterday, added to the more than 100 aftershocks that have hit since a 7.8-magnitude quake on Wednesday.

    A 5.2-magnitude quake shook the south shortly before 9pm last night.

    The biggest of the weekend's quakes to strike the region, measuring 5.5, struck 170km west of Te Anau at a depth of 15km at 5.11 last night, GNS Science said.

    Te Anau woman Diane Lanaway said she did not feel that quake but she did feel one about 3.30am yesterday.

    It measured 5.4 on the Richter Scale and she said it woke her up.

    "It was a really weird one. It rolled and then it just tremored for ages."

    Wednesday's 7.8-magnitude quake was the biggest recorded in the world this year but it caused no major damage or injuries.

    - With NZPA

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    Our Australian cousins just got closer
    Last updated 05:00 22/07/2009

    The South Island has been twisted out of shape and shoved closer to Australia by last week's massive Fiordland earthquake.

    Last Wednesday evening's 7.8 magnitude earthquake which was centred 12 kilometres under Resolution Island and was the country's largest shake for nearly 80 years wrought permanent changes in just seconds.

    The Land Information New Zealand-GeoNet global positioning system (GPS) network shows Puysegur Point, at the southwest tip of the South Island, is now 300mm closer to Australia.

    Te Anau has moved 100mm westwards. Bluff moved west by 30 millimetres, Alexandra, by 20mm, and Dunedin, by 10mm.

    Christchurch may have shifted marginally closer to Australia, but only by a tiny amount.

    GNS Science GeoNet project director Ken Gledhill said such changes were part of the continuing deformation of New Zealand, and showed the immensity of the forces involved.

    "New Zealand has been very fortunate.

    "This earthquake anywhere else would have caused huge damage.

    "Basically, it's taken us closer to Australia. The country is deforming all the time because of being on the plate boundary, but this has done it in a few seconds, rather than waiting hundreds of years."

    Earthquake scientists met yesterday afternoon to discuss how the earthquake had affected the Alpine Fault.

    It lies about 50km offshore southern Fiordland.

    "What we do know is it has caused an increase in stress in the southernmost offshore part of the Alpine Fault.

    "Unfortunately, very little is known about that part," Gledhill said.

    "The strain has to go somewhere. What the GPS has shown is most of the motion is in the horizontal direction, and that bit of Fiordland has gone towards Australia.

    "What we think at the moment is that even if something happened on that segment, it is unlikely to rupture on to the onshore part further north.

    "The problem with all of this work is you don't actually know where that bit of the Earth is in the earthquake cycle.

    "What we would like to do is do a lot more modelling, and that will take months."

    GNS Science geologist Simon Cox said New Zealanders should not be lulled into a false sense of security that the country had now had "the big one".

    "There is no such thing as `the' big one," Cox said.

    "New Zealand sits across the plate boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates, and there are a number of fault systems from the ones at Napier-Hastings that are different from the Wellington ones, which are different from those in Marlborough, which are different from the Alpine Fault, which are different from Fiordland.

    "All are capable of producing big earthquakes.

    "We've just had a big one in Fiordland but that doesn't mean the big one has ripped through the whole lot.

    "People shouldn't take too much comfort from this one having missed."

    - PAUL GORMAN/The Press

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    Quakes rocking Fiordland
    Updated 2:30PM Thursday Jul 30, 2009

    Aftershocks are still rocking Fiordland, after the massive 7.8 quake two weeks ago.

    Two quakes measuring 5 or more on the Richter scale have struck this morning.

    The first was a quake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale which had a focal depth of 12km and struck 110km west of Tuatapere this morning at 7.59.

    The quake has been reported on the GNS website as far east as Invercargill.

    About 45 minutes later, a quake measuring 5 on the Richter scale struck and was felt as far east as Otatara.

    The quake had an epicentre of 130km east of Tuatapere and had a focal depth of 33km.

    Last night another quake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale struck at 8.15, again 110km west of Tuatapere.

    Last night's quake was felt as far east as Manapouri.

    The massive quake which struck on July 15 measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and was the largest recorded world-wide this year but because of its remote location, it caused very little damage.

    GNS seismologist Warwick Smith said the aftershocks are normal for a 7.8 quake.

    He said there were aftershocks for weeks following the 1931 Napier earthquake.

    Mr Smith said they were widely felt because of the larger population in the Hawkes Bay, whereas the Fiordland quake happened in a sparsely populated area.

    He said there is no way of telling how long the aftershocks in Fiordland will last.

    - NZ HERALD STAFF

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