Quake hits New Zealand

Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 11:31 am
NBC News and msnbc.com
updated less than 1 minute ago

A strong earthquake hit near New Zealand’s second-largest city, Christchurch, early Saturday. There were no immediate reports of major damage, but Radio New Zealand described the quake as “severe” and reported that power was out across the city.

Some residents posted Twitter alerts reporting damage and large aftershocks.

The quake, which was recorded at 4:35 a.m. (1:35 p.m. Friday ET), registered 7.2 on the Richter scale, the U.S. Geological Survey said in Washington. The USGS predicted only light damage based on its Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale.

Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the largest on the nation’s southern island, with a population of about 350,000.

This report will be updated as information becomes available.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:05 pm

Power and water have been cut to parts of Christchurch after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck about 30km west of the city at 4.35am today.

The quake was at a depth of 33km and was centred near Darfield.

New Zealand Herald reporter Jarrod Booker who lives in the central Christchurch suburb of Linwood said he was woken by "extremely violent shaking."

"Items were falling and crashing around the house. It was extremely violent shaking."

He said the chimney from his next door neighbour's house had fallen and smashed through the windscreen of a car.

"There have been a number of aftershocks of a much lesser degree since then."

Power and water

A Timaru resident told NZPA he was awakened by the shaking. His house was groaning and a bedside lamp crashed off its table.

Radio New Zealand said listeners were reporting particularly strong effects in Christchurch, with one saying his house "turned upside down" with crockery breaking.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:06 pm


Aftershocks were ongoing and damage widespread, local newspaper The Post reported, while there appeared to be a power outage throughout much of Christchurch, a city of about 340,000 on the island's east coast.

Local resident Colleen Simpson said that many people had run out onto the streets in fear, while the mobile phone network was failing, according to the Post.

"Oh my God. There is a row of shops completely demolished right in front of me," Simpson said.

Kevin O'Hanlon, from Mairehau in Christchurch, said: "Just unbelievable. I was awake to go to work and then just heard this massive noise and, boom, it was like the house got hit. It just started shaking. I've never felt anything like it," the newspaper reported.

On Twitter, local residents reported being woken up by the quake and feeling an ongoing series of aftershocks.

The quake was felt through much of the South Island, the Post said. There was no widespread threat of a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:10 pm


Power is out to most of Christchurch because of extensive damage there, Radio New Zealand reported.

A spokesperson for lines company Orion said sewer lines and water pipes have ruptured, and whole substations are offline.

Police said damage and power outages have been reported from as far away as Dunedin.

The rail network in the South Island has been shut down while it is inspected for damage.

Colleen Simpson, from Christchurch, said everyone was out in the street in their pyjamas looking scared and worried. There was no power, buildings were down and the mobile network was failing.

"Oh my God. There is a row of shops completely demolished right in front of me," she said.

Simpson and her young family were heading to her sister's house, where there was still power, so everyone could be together.

Some Christchurch residents have reported chimneys have fallen in through roofs, ceilings have cracked and brick walls have collapsed.

Kevin O'Hanlon, from Mairehau in Christchurch, said it was unbelievable.

"Just unbelievable. I was awake to go to work and then just heard this massive noise and, boom, it was like the house got hit. It just started shaking. I've never felt anything like it."

Christchurch Press chief reporter Kamala Hayman said power was out in many southern suburbs.

"The first shake tipped books and glasses off our shelves and we are still getting sizeable aftershocks."

Ryan Shaw, in Christchurch, said "TV fallen off cabinet, books, pot plants everywhere and I'm very shaken."

Roads around the seaside suburbs of New Brighton and Sumner are thronged with cars as worried residents flee any possible tsunami. There has been no tsunami alert issued.

Grant Shimmin, in Temuka, South Canterbury, said the quake seemed to go on for a long time, possibly as long as a minute.

"It sounded like some objects were falling around the house, although we've not found anything broken.
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"My daughters, in their respective bedrooms, were both woken quickly and called out, obviously feeling pretty scared, and we huddled under doorways."

Timaru District Council emergency management officer Lamorna Cooper says there have been no issues raised about the hydro system following the earthquake, and teams will be checking the dams.

A resident of Alexandra - in Central Otago - also reported feeling the quake.

"Our house was moving from side to side and the movements were pretty big. Nothing was damaged and I didn't hear any furniture moving, but the house was moving a lot."
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:53 pm


Radio New Zealand reported that police advised power to Christchurch was out, and that part of Avonside Dr in the city had been ripped up.

There was a hole in the road which meant it could not be driven on.

Structural damage to houses and broken glass was being reported from throughout Christchurch, while damage and power outages had been reported from as far away as Dunedin.

A Timaru resident told NZPA he was awakened by the shaking. His house was groaning and a bedside lamp crashed off its table.

The central city in Christchurch has been closed by police.

Civil Defence response

Civil Defence said the National Crisis Management Centre has been activated in response and people in the affected area should expect aftershocks.

Tony Wallace, Civil Defence duty manager told ONE News there had been no reports of injury yet.

Power out

Roger Sutton of Orion Energy told ONE News that almost the whole of rural Canterbury is this morning without power.

Half of the Christchurch central business district was without power and most of northern Christchurch, he said.
Power was shut down so that the safety of the network could be assessed.

No Tsunami threat

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said no destructive widespread tsunami threat existed based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.

But earthquakes of this size sometimes generated local tsunamis that could be destructive along coasts located within 100km of the earthquake epicentre, it said.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:56 pm


A man who lives in the southern Christchurch coastal suburb of Southshore described the quake as "incredibly long and tortuous".

He was on the second floor of his house and could feel the house "twisting and fracturing around our ears", and it had been left "on a bit of an angle".

There were cracks and a chasm across his garden.

Photographer David Alexander, of suburban Opawa, said the aftershocks "just keep coming". His house still had power but street lights were out.

Mr Alexander said his wife was from Japan and had experienced worse shocks, but she said this was a pretty good one.

Their 103-year-old villa had withstood the onslaught well but there was broken glass and china everywhere, and "a very frightened cat under the bed".

Christchurch man Chris Hutching said the water mains had burst in his St Albans neighbourhood and that "chimneys are down all around us".
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 12:57 pm

Structural damage to houses and broken glass have been reported throughout Christchurch.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says infrastructure checks are underway, and he's urging people to conserve water and stay off the roads at this stage.

He says most of the damage seems to be to older buildings - and they've had no reports of injuries.

Lines company Orion is asking that unless there is a threat to someone's life, for example from live wires, that members of the public do not call their power company, because the switchboards are overloaded.

The company's chief executive, Roger Sutton, has driven through the Christchurch city centre and says while he did not see any buildings down, masonry had fallen off buildings and police have cordoned off some streets.

Christchurch police say part of Avonside Drive has been ripped up and is not able to be driven on.

All Christchurch hospitals are operational, and while staff are still assessing damage, there have been no major injuries reported at the hospitals.

Civil Defence Headquarters has activated the national crisis centre.

Christchurch Civil Defence spokesperson Andrew Howe says there have been reports of minor damage throughout the city, such as broken windows.

He says the central city streets are blocked due to damaged buildings and police have shut down the central city streets for safety.

Mr Howe is urging people to remain calm and to stay in their homes, especially as more aftershocks are expected.

He says people should refrain from using cellphones unless it is an emergency as the networks are becoming overloaded.

Christchurch Airport has closed until at least 10am, and spokesperson Andy Lester says no-one should come to the airport.

Mr Lester says there doesn't appear to be any structural damage to the runway, but that remains to be checked.

Jan Studholme, who is in Charteris Bay, Banks Peninsula, says she has never felt an earthquake like it, and aftershocks were still being felt an hour after the quake.

Ross Marwick, who lives in Kaiapoi north of Christchurch, says CDs and broken pottery are strewn across the floor and paintings are hanging askew - but there's been no major damage.

Police say damage and power outages have been experienced as far afield as Dunedin.

Emergency services in many centres say they are being flooded with calls.

A northern fire communications spokesperson in Auckland says they are being kept busy as people in the lower North Island have been calling in to report burst water pipes.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 01:02 pm
First images of damage coming in:

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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 01:28 pm
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 01:53 pm

Tectonic Summary

The September 3, 2010 South Island, New Zealand earthquake occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting within the crust of the Pacific plate, near the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps at the western edge of the Canterbury Plains. The earthquake struck approximately 50 km to the west-northwest of Christchurch, the largest population center in the region, and about 80-90 km to the south and east of the current expression of the Australia:Pacific plate boundary through the island (the Alpine and Hope Faults). The earthquake, though removed from the plate boundary itself, likely reflects right-lateral motion on one of a number of regional faults related to the overall relative motion of these plates and may be related to the overall southern propagation of the Marlborough fault system in recent geologic time.

Today's earthquake occurred approximately 50 km to the southeast of a M7.1, surface-rupturing event in Authur's Pass, on March 9th, 1929, which caused 17 fatalities. More recently, two earthquakes of M6.7 and M5.9 occurred in June 1994 approximately 40 km to the northwest of today's event, but did not cause any known fatalities or significant damage.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 04:07 pm
from what I've heard, there was an earth quake in New Zealand this morning; details to follow, in other news, there's hamburger all over the highway in Mystic Connecticut and a big light in the eastern skies frightened some minorities south of Boston. Weather is expected to continue through the labor day weekend and E may stand for excellence in my book, but I think I'm outta gas.
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Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 05:06 pm
I had this all explained to me by some JWs who happened by a couple of weeks ago. They showed me where it warned of this in the bible.

What's comin' next I won't tell you. I don't want to spoil the book/movie/real event's ending for you.
Reply Fri 3 Sep, 2010 07:01 pm
I figured something went very wrong with the filming of special effects for the next Lord of the Rings sequel.
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Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:16 pm
video: Christchurch rocked by quake
Source: 7pm TV News NSW
Published: Saturday, September 4, 2010 7:43 AEST
Expires: Friday, December 3, 2010 7:43 AEST

State of emergency declared in New Zealand after 7.0 earthquake hits Christchurch

Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 11:27 am
It is amazing that there weren't more injuries and some deaths amongst all the damage shown in that video. The damage looks very similar to what I saw in Oakland after the Loma Prieta earthquake other than the freeway and bridge collapses. Most of the structural damage was to the brick-front buildings and that's what caused many of the injuries.

I understand that city is on a peninsula mostly separate from mainland New Zealand, is that correct? If so, was there any damage to the connecting transportation venues such as bridges or tunnels? I haven't heard of such.
Reply Sun 5 Sep, 2010 11:31 am

Christchurch closed as aftershocks keep hitting

By Philippa McDonald

Updated 3 hours 37 minutes ago

Christchurch residents have been told to prepare for a hard grind ahead after Saturday's 7.1-magnitude earthquake, as strong aftershocks continue to shake New Zealand's second biggest city.

The city is also bracing itself for high winds which could cause more damage to homes and buildings.

The winds were starting to hammer parts of the region late on Sunday night and police are urging people to stay off the streets as the 130 kilometre an hour wind gusts could bring down already unstable bricks and masony.

The aftershocks have been as strong as magnitude 5.0 and the city centre will remain closed on Monday, although business owners will be allowed in to assess the damage to property.

About 500 buildings have been destroyed - more than 90 in the CBD - and authorities have ordered the city's schools to stay closed until at least Wednesday as engineers carry out structural checks.

Prime minister John Key says each building needs to be checked, especially schools.

"We simply just have to check every school to make sure that the buildings are sturdy and stable," he said.

"We can't send school children back to school until they've been buttoned down and signed off."

Mr Key says he does not know how long that will take, but rebuilding Christchurch could take a year because many buildings will have to be knocked down.

Despite the widespread damage no-one was killed by the earthquake but two people were seriously injured and another died of a heart attack during the disaster.

New Zealand's Chamber of Commerce says the damage to business caused by the powerful quake is substantial.

Cordons are in place in some streets due to the sustained damage to buildings and the city is still under a state of emergency.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the city is coming to terms with the scale of the disaster.

"We are certainly moving into the phase where the adrenaline has dropped and the reality of the situation that's in front of us is hitting people," he said.

"People are very tired and volunteers are finding their spirits are starting to be sapped by the scale of this event.

"We're going to have to be patient; we can do this together, but it's a hard, hard grind ahead of us now."

While power has been restored to most of the city attention is now turning to the cleanliness of the water supply.

Tankers which usually carry milk are now carting water to the areas hard hit by the earthquake.

Health authorities are warning all residents to boil their water before drinking, but that is not an option for hundreds of people whose streets have been flooded with sewerage and water when pipes burst with the force of the quake.

Residents stranded

Mr Key says authorities are working to make sure people have all the support they need.

"We understand up to 100,000 homeowners will be looking to make claims but it could be more and while we only saw about 250 people in welfare centres last night an awful lot of people went out and stayed with family and friends," he said.

"We just need to make sure that all those support services are there and obviously we're working as fast as we can to get water back on. But waste water's also presenting some issues for us."

Earlier, residents took shelter as strong winds buffeted the city and there were fears that more buildings could collapse.

Heavy movers attempted to clear the road of mud and silt after the quake caused sewerage and water pipes to burst and left the roads buckled and separated from the gutter.

But homes bore the biggest brunt with about 350 houses severely damaged, forcing residents to move out.

Residents say while emergency services are working to restore clean water supplies in their streets it could take days, leaving some people to spend a second night in a relief centre.

"I don't want to stay in the house alone," said one person.

"I'm still pretty nervous and really shaken and I've slept two hours since it hit yesterday.

"I feel a lot safer because we're with people who, if it happened again, know what to do."

Christchurch resident Oriana Toasland says the earthquake and aftershocks were frightening but people are taught from an early age to be prepared for the possibility of such events.

"I think New Zealand has an amazing ability to teach the children about disaster survival and it's not just quakes; we're talking about tsunamis, fires and everything," she said.

"Every child in New Zealand learns from the time that they start kindergarten about earthquakes; it's installed in all children.

"Every New Zealander I should think would know what to do in an earthquake."
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Reply Mon 6 Sep, 2010 04:37 am
It is amazing that there weren't more injuries and some deaths amongst all the damage shown in that video.

Yes, it's incredible, Butrflynet. All that damage & not a single death. And so few injuries. Thank goodness for that!
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Reply Mon 6 Sep, 2010 10:32 pm
yes thank goodness no one was seriously hurt down there.....aftershocks are still going and its Tuesday here now.
Today at about 10.30 this morning we got hit in my area with a 5.2 Earthquake (Hastings - Central N.Island) my office chair started rolling, didn't last long, and was quite small...still better be safe than sorry, we all ran and stood under door ways.
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Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2010 04:51 pm
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 5.0 Mb

* 28 Oct 2010 17:25:11 UTC
* 29 Oct 2010 05:25:11 near epicenter
* 28 Oct 2010 11:25:11 standard time in your timezone

Location 29.251S 177.506W
Depth 92 km

* 35 km (22 miles) E (90 degrees) of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
* 929 km (578 miles) SSW (194 degrees) of NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga
* 3124 km (1941 miles) WSW (240 degrees) of PAPEETE, Tahiti, French Polynesia
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Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 03:17 pm

Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude 5.0 Mb

* 28 Nov 2010 01:22:11 UTC
* 28 Nov 2010 14:22:11 near epicenter
* 27 Nov 2010 19:22:11 standard time in your timezone

Location 41.036S 175.751E
Depth 66 km

* 77 km (48 miles) S (172 degrees) of Palmerston North, New Zealand
* 86 km (53 miles) ENE (72 degrees) of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
* 201 km (125 miles) SSW (210 degrees) of Napier, New Zealand
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