We didn’t have an earthquake. We are still having it now

eight_col_aftershocks_until_1030am_16nov

There have been more than 1600 earthquake aftershocks since the 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday morning.

The ground has been even shakier than it was following the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011 – in the same 59-hour period following that quake, there were 922 aftershocks.

Most of the aftershocks are described on the Geonet website as light or weak, and range in magnitude from 2-4, but some larger shocks have also occurred.

By 11am today, there had been almost 300 magnitude-4 earthquakes and 43 magnitude-5 earthquakes. Along with the original magnitude-7.5, there have also been two earthquakes larger than magnitude-6.

Christchurch has educated the rest of New Zealand to understand that even though the Big One is past, there are months and years ahead of aftershocks.  People in the zone are starting to get pretty raggedy.  The way it grinds you down, shake by shake, the lack of sleep, the feelings of isolation, they all accumulate to a point where those outside the area can’t related to. 

Geonet said there was a 91 percent probability for aftershocks of between magnitude-6 and 6.9 within the next 30 days. They will be updating this scenario later today.

Writing on the GeoNet website yesterday, Dr Ken Gledhill described the magnitude-7.5 Kaikoura earthquake as “a monster quake, one that has shocked us all with its intensity and ferocity. Because of its size it made our world shake strongly but relatively slowly for a very long time. It is a complex, brooding beast we are still trying to understand”.

The really scary thing is that the quakes are moving up the country.  Who will have the courage to ‘predict’ the 7 earthquake at the bottom of the North Island some years from now?

 

– RNZ

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