Archive for June, 2007

Proroguing Parliament

Friday, June 29th, 2007

This website usually avoids political issues, there being plenty of other sites devoted to the activities of our politicians both inside and outside the debating chamber.

Nevertheless, the use of the phrase proroguing parliament in a newspaper from 1890 caught my eye recently and led me to discover two issues of the day which have a modern complement.

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Strong Earthquake near Bougainville, PNG

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

A magnitude 6.7 undersea earthquake struck Papua New Guinea this afternoon. The quake, which struck at 2:52 p.m. NZST on Thursday 28th June 2007 was located 220 km SSW of Arawa, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The epicentre is 825 km east of the capital Port Moresby, PNG.

The US Geological Survey estimate the quake’s depth at 10 km, whilst the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) estimate the depth at 33 km.

The PTWC issued a bulletin 15 minutes after the earthquake noting that a local tsunami may have been generated but, based on historical data, no widespread tsunami threat exists.

[Compiled from data supplied by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

Increased Earthquake Activity in the Pacific Islands

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Earthquake activity in the Pacific Islands has increased since June 20th, New Zealand time, with much of the activity around the Fiji Microplates. Thirteen quakes of 4th and 5th magnitude have been reported in the Solomon, Santa Cruz and Loyalty Islands; Vanuatu, Fiji region, Samoa and the Kermadecs.

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Action Weather

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

The sunny afternoon in Wellington is a welcome change from yesterday with its chill and gloomy skies and vivid thunderstorms. In Auckland, large hailstones and cellphones have fallen from the sky, while the deep south shivers under snow and a polar blast.

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Dry Trend Continues Into June 2007

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

After several days of cold wind from the southerly quarter, the first frost of the winter season settled on the hills above Tawa this morning. Local birds declined the opportunity to take an early morning skate on the frozen birdbath and stayed warmly tucked-up in their nests with their electric blankets on full.

The chill follows a mild autumn, drought on the East Coast of the North Island and hydro lake levels sitting at below-average levels.

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Earthquake Swarm, Hawaii

Monday, June 18th, 2007

The largest island in the Hawaii chain, Hawaii (known to locals as The Big island), has experienced an earthquake swarm this morning.

The 65 quakes reported by the US Geological Survey are occurring at shallow depths on the south-eastern flank of one of the planet’s most active volcanoes – Kilauea volcano.

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Geological Summary for New Zealand Area, May 2007

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Earthquake activity continued at a low level. White Island, Mt Ngauruhoe, and Mt Ruapehu remained at Alert Level 1.

The Matata earthquake swarm continued during May 2007, and items were shaken from shelves in both the North and South Islands by 6 earthquakes.

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May 2007 Drier, Windier, Warmer

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Tawa’s climate during May 2007 was drier and windier, with temperatures similar to those recorded in 2005 which was warmer than 2003, 2004 and 2006. The average monthly temperature was 2 degrees higher than the value calculated for May last year, and nearly 1 degree higher than that calculated for 2005.

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Deep Earthquakes Near Rotorua

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

A moderately strong, deep earthquake struck near Rotorua this afternoon.

The magnitude 5.1 quake struck at 1:59 p.m. on Wednesday 13th June 2007 at a depth of 160 km, 10 km south-east of Rotorua. The great depth of the quake meant it was felt weakly in Wellington, Gracefield and Palmerston North, but a little more strongly at Opotiki.

Two similarly deep quakes struck nearby yesterday. The first was a magnitude 4.4 event which struck at 7:49 last night, located off-shore in the Bay of Plenty at a depth of 159 km. It was followed at 10:44 p.m. by a magnitude 3.8 quake at a depth of 157 km near Mangakino.

[Compiled from data provided by the Geonet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST.]

Hydro Lake Storage Improves Slightly

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

New Zealand’s hydro-electric storage lake levels improved slightly during May 2007, with greater inflows than those recorded in April.

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Augie Auer 1940-2007

Monday, June 11th, 2007

“Well, my friend, there’ll be a few windscreen wetters around Auckland today but otherwise some long fine periods for those who want to prune the roses.”

Just two of the “Augie-isms” that added colour to weather talk in New Zealand in recent years, but will no longer be heard following the death of Professor Augie Auer at a family gathering in Melbourne, Australia, last night.

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Central New Zealand Earthquakes

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Earthquakes have struck near Seddon in the South island and in the Tasman Sea west of Foxton over the weekend.

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Earthquakes Near Vanuatu

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

A series of three earthquakes have struck northern Vanuatu during the past day. The quakes, at varying depths, have been located within 90 km of Luganville, Espiritu Santo.

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Here’s Looking At You

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

In recent weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time looking through 120 year-old newspapers while researching for a book that I’m writing. After many hours of electronically turning the pages (the papers are online) one gets a sense of the historical events unfolding as if in a movie.

People act out their lives, businesses crash, pubs close, councils and boards meet, bridges are built, buildings burn to the ground – the printed word generates an impression of a newsreel playing out on the screen.

So it came as a shock when I turned one electronic page and found the editor of the Poverty Bay Herald looking straight back at me from 1889.

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