Earthquakes – Wednesday update

The earthquakes are continuing, now generally fewer and smaller, often seeming in pairs near Seddon and Kaikoura, and at times in triplets with Culverden/Cheviot/Hamner Springs in the mix.

Geonet had an update at 4 am:

  • 23 earthquakes located in the last hour (Wednesday morning)
  • 278 earthquakes since 6 pm (Tuesday)
  • 1,492 earthquakes  since the M7.5 Kaikoura Earthquake (just after midnight on Monday).

Alan was in Hamner Springs when the M7.5 struck:

I was in Hanmer in a wooden Fraemohs chalet trying to fix my phone while my wife watched a TV movie when the first big 7.5 hit. I have to say the chalet was great – strong as a boat in a storm as we rocked and rolled. It was built on a good thick concrete pad and the interlocking beam walls performed perfectly.

We had driven through the epicentre at Waiau that afternoon and stopped for a few minutes of course never guessing anything so drastic was about to happen there.

While it was happening I was standing back to a window which in retrospect although it had a heavy curtain was probably not a great idea but it was too far to get around the bed to the passageway while keeping my balance while it was like being on a yacht in a choppy sea with a howling wind.

The noise was like a train or a plane roaring past right outside.

I have heard people from Christchurch describe the bigger earthquakes as like a train roaring past right outside their house. I’ve never been close enough to a big one to hear one (I’m not complaining).

After that I could hear the aftershocks coming as a low frequency sound just before they started but my wife couldn’t. She hears higher frequencies better than me though.

Power went out in the middle of the quake and didn’t come back till midday the next day but the road out didn’t open till 4pm the next day.

Alan was lucky the road was openable. One of the remarkable things about these earthquakes, presumably mainly as a result of the huge M7.5, is the widespread destruction of roads – not just the huge slips on the Kaikoura coast but so many roads have been ripped apart, like this one in Waiau.

state-of-road-in-waiau-after-earthquake-supplied

There have been many movements of land, ripped apart, buckled and raised and lowered.

kaikouraseabedraised2

Aerial photographs show the seabed uplift north of Kaikoura – estimated to be between 2 – 2.5 metres – more at @TonkinTaylor – which also shows minor road slips.

Media seemed to obsess over the trapped cows yesterday morning – they were rescued – but now the poor paua are being pitied, raised out of the water and dying.

Newshub: Baby paua suffering terrible deaths in sun

It’s not just the thousands of exposed paua that are a high concern in Kaikoura – exposed baby paua are also dying by the hour.

The paua have now been exposed out of water for more than two days after the seabed was lifted nearly two metres out of the water by Monday’s 7.5 earthquake.

Paua Industry Council’s Storm Stanley says there’s a lot of worry for the tens of thousands of adult paua but people forget about the babies.

“What you won’t see are the smaller paua that live under rocks. They live under rocks until they’re about 16, 17 millimetres long before they come out again,” he says.

pauaraised

Nature can be brutal.  It’s tough on the paua and other exposed sea life on the fishing industry, but I suspect there are more pressing problems for most people to attend to.

RNZ have today’s key facts:

Rescue efforts in Kaikoura continue as helicopters and NZ and US defence force ships head to the quake-hit town with supplies.

Wellington is also dealing with the aftermath of Monday’s 7.5 magnitude quake, with a city centre building at risk of collapse.

As usual they are covering things extensively – see RNZ continues live online coverage here.

Geonet: M7.5 Kaikoura Earthquake: for more information read Latest Updates and Scenarios and Probabilities.

Damaged buildings in Wellington is becoming a big story of it’s own – that’s for another post.