A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Fiordland at 1:30 this morning, Tuesday 16th October 2007.
The quake was located off-shore 60 km west of Milford Sound, 90 km north-west of Te Anau at a depth of about 25 km. Preliminary estimates indicate that the quake was magnitude 6.7 to 6.9 according to data posted by GeoNet, the US Geological Survey and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin at 1:46 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time, advising that no tsunami threat existed for Pacific coastlines, but a locally damaging wave might have been generated owing to the size of the quake.
Within an hour of the quake, GeoNet had received 327 reports of the quake from the public, with light damage being reported at Milford Sound and Dunedin. The quake was felt strongly at Queenstown, where items were thrown from shelves. Reports of the quake have been sent in from as far away as Westport, Wellington and Christchurch.
Two quakes of magnitude 7.4 and 6.6 struck further south of this morning’s event on the evening of September 30th. The quakes were located near the Auckland Islands, 500-odd km south-west of Invercargill.
[Compiled from data provided by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies; the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, and the Geonet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST.]