Mass of quakes continue

When I headlined Earthquake onslaught  that was based on what had happened in the few hours since the 7.5 quake just after midnight, but things haven’t let up all day with hundreds of quakes around the top half of the South Island.

The quakes have often been in clusters alternating between Kaikoura, Seddon and North Canterbury, with a few outliers.

There have just been two more ‘severe’ shakes amongst a cluster:

  • 3.6 (light) 7:37:16 pm 25 km north-west of Cheviot
  • 3.6 (light) 7:38:13 pm 10 km east of Kaikoura
  • 3.4 (light) 7:40:54 pm 35 km south of Seddon
  • 5.6 (severe) 7:43:01 pm 25 km east of Seddon
  • 4.4 (moderate) 7:43:34 pm 15 km north-east of Methven
  • 5.7 (strong) 7:47:51 pm 25 km east of Kaikoura
  • 4.3 (strong) 7:51:58 pm 15 km east of Seddon
  • 4.5 (strong) 7:52:53 pm 20 km east of Seddon
  • 4.4 (light) 7:55:44 pm 35 km east of Kaikoura
  • 3.6 (light) 7:56:19 pm 15 km east of Levin

That’s 10 in 20 minutes. The whole area seems to have become unstable.

And the pictures being published of the roads, railway line and hills shows how unstable the area is on the surface. Huge and smaller slips have blocked roads and lines in many places. It could take weeks if not months to open state highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch reopened.

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Kaikoura is cut off due to major slips both to the north and to the south.

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There was a road and a railway line round here yesterday. And paddocks and stock have also been affected.

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There have been two deaths reported. Given the size of the quakes this is relatively low, fortunately being in the middle of the night in mostly sparsely populated areas helped minimise casualty rates.

But there are many ongoing aftershocks, quite a few fairly strong, and Geonet says there’s a 32% chance of another 7+ in the next month or two.

There have already been six quakes rated as ‘severe’ today, near Culverden, Kaikoura (3), Seddon and Cheviot. There was widespread minor-ish damage in Wellington and they ‘only’ had a 5.3.

What has happened already will have a major impact on Marlborough and North Canterbury and also further down the highway. The alternative routes by land are lengthy, via the West Coast.

And there will understandably be many worried people.

There’s enough cause for concern down here in Dunedin (where some people were woken by the big midnight shake but I haven’t felt a thing) having seem the enormous effects on Christchurch.

There will be many frazzled nerves after a day of sustained shaking in the top half of the South island and the lower North island.

UPDATE: since typing the above list and the rest of the post there has been another  ‘severe’ (5.9) and another ‘strong (5.8) quake near Seddon – they are 30 seconds apart so must just about be the same quake.

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1 Comment

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  14th November 2016

    Everyone will be having nervous breakdowns with the aftershocks. That woman who was supposed to have chemotherapy tomorrow will surely be taken there somehow. The school pupils with exams will have to have mass aegrotats.

    Reply

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