New Zealand Earthquake – update on Sept. 5

As noted earlier, the 7.0 earthquake in New Zealand miraculously did not result in any deaths.  By contrast, the 7.0 earthquake that occurred in Haiti earlier this year resulted in about 225,000 deaths.  The reasons for the differences would make an interesting research topic.

New Zealand braces for more destruction after quake, AP, Sept. 5.

New Zealand prepared for further destruction on Sunday as aftershocks and an approaching storm threatened an area hit by the most devastating earthquake in decades. Prime Minister John Key said it was “a miracle” no one had died when the major 7.0 magnitude quake wreaked more than a billion dollars of damage on the nation’s second-biggest city of Christchurch. Civil defence officials warned that ongoing aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 5.4, coupled with a ferocious storm blowing in, could threaten already-weakened buildings.

New Zealand region nervous after powerful quake; CNN, Sept. 5.

New Zealand’s Christchurch and Canterbury remained on edge Sunday as the quake-hit region entered its second night following a powerful tremor that left buildings in ruins and people scrambling for shelter heavy rains and gale-force winds forecast to hit Monday threaten to knock down frail, quake-weakened buildings.

Comments from NZ geologists about some of the unique features of this quake:

The powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted rail lines around the New Zealand city of Christchurch also ripped a new fault line in the Earth’s surface, a geologist said Sunday. (CNN, Sept. 5)  and

“The quake was probably the worst to hit New Zealand for 80 years because it was a “bull’s-eye on a major city,” Warwick Smith, from the Institute of Geological Nuclear Sciences.”

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