North Is quakes unrelated to Canterbury
The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 08/09/2010

Earthquakes that shook the North Island yesterday are not related to the 7.1 quake in Christchurch, seismologists say.

The largest tremor, at 10.48am, measured 5.2 and was centred off the Hawke's Bay coast, 90 kilometres south of Hastings. It followed a 3.6 quake at 10.03am, centred 40km south of Hastings.

Two small quakes struck Wellington later in the day. A magnitude 4.0 at 3.48pm was centred 20km west of the capital, followed by a 3.8 quake 20km southwest of the city at 4.18pm. Another 4.2 quake struck Porangahau in central Hawke's Bay at 6.36pm.

Quake monitoring network GeoNet said the Hawke's Bay quakes were not related to the Christchurch earthquake other than that they were both caused by the same two tectonic plates rubbing against each other.

"It would be a drawing a long bow to say that they are connected," data centre manager Kevin Fenaughty said.

GNS Science seismologist Brian Ferris said the Wellington earthquakes could not have been triggered by the Canterbury quakes. "It's just too far."

Porangahau residents reported that although items fell from shelves and pictures fell off walls, there was no real damage.

Bob Fair, the owner of Porangahau Garage, said the car he was working on leaped forward about a metre.

"It was a bit frightening. I thought it had jumped into gear."

The earthquake struck when pupils at Porangahau School were in the playground.

"The children hit the ground. They did all the things they were supposed to," executive officer Selina Cook said.

From here.