Matata Earthquake Swarm Continues

This morning’s very shallow magnitude 4.2 earthquake near Matata, has attracted 93 felt reports on the Geonet website, some reporting damage.

The magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck within 5 km of Matata at a depth of 2 km at 11:44 this morning, Thursday May 3rd, 2007.

The quake was the strongest of a swarm of earthquakes which has plagued the Bay of Plenty coastal town of Matata since December last year. The event was largely observed in the Bay of Plenty area from Tauranga to Whakatane and south to Whakarewarewa, and even attracted a felt report from Ardmore in Auckland.

Five of the felt reports described the earthquake as strong, with another two (from Matata) falling into the slightly damaging MM6 category. 17 reports were filed from Kawerau.

During 2005, three distinct swarms of earthquakes struck Matata between the 12th of February and the 25th of August. Some of the 55 earthquakes plagued the town at the same time as a flash flood which caused considerable damage to the settlement.

The current swarm of quakes has grown in strength and the number of events since it started in December, although activity eased slightly during April. Geonet reported 4 earthquakes near Matata in December last year, 6 during January 2007, 10 during February, 30 during March and 23 during April, bringing the total to 73. A further two events have been reported near Matata this month.

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

One Response to “Matata Earthquake Swarm Continues”

  1. Maria Gunn says:

    Hi was just wondering if maybe there is small underground volcano in the Matata area that could be responsible for all the earthquakes in the past years? And if they are getting more and stronger is there the likely hood of an eruption of some sort? Curious Watcher Maria

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