Archive for April, 2006

When Thor’s in Town

Monday, April 10th, 2006

I suspect that the Norse god of thunder has taken note of that advertising campaign to spend some time in Absolutely Positively Wellington. He doesn’t seem to be spending a lot of time with his wife Sif or his mistress Jarnsaxa, though, as he’s been busy hooning about the sky in his chariot tossing his hammer about over the weekend.


Minor Wind Damage on Kapiti Coast

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

The very low pressure system which parked off the country’s southern west coast has been bringing some entertainment to residents of the Lower North Island.

Tawa experienced a sudden thunderstorm and downpour just after dusk last night and again this morning. This morning’s storm moved northward and caused wind damage at Paraparaumu.


Geological Summary for New Zealand Area, March 2006

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Eruption at Raoul Island, earthquakes nearby. Swarm of earthquakes near Wanganui. Deep earthquakes near Wellington (ongoing), shallow earthquakes near Reefton. Deep Bay of Plenty quakes continue.

Earthquake activity increased during March after a relatively quiet February. There were 46 earthquakes, 1 swarm, and 3 clusters of activity. Mt Ruapehu and White Island remained at Alert Level 1, while Raoul Island began an eruption sequence and was raised to Alert Level 2. There was no change at Mt Tongariro.


Raoul Volcano Remains at Alert Level 2

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Earthquake activity at Raoul Island volcano has declined while activity offshore continues.

Geonet vulcanologists advise that, while the water level in Green Lake inside the crater at Raoul has continued to rise slowly, the number of earthquakes occurring on or close to the island has declined to between 2 and 5 per day.

The swarm of 15 moderately strong earthquakes that struck within 100-odd km of the island on Saturday, has also eased, but earthquakes are still occurring at a rate higher than normal.


Earthquake Activity Near Fiji and Tonga

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

The increased earthquake activity in the South Pacific between Vanuatu and Tonga has continued, with activity now concentrated near Fiji and Tonga.

The day after Raoul Island in the Kermadec Islands erupted, earthquake activity increased at three locations near Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. By March 31st, the activity had concentrated near Fiji and Tonga and tectonic activity had started at an increased rate in The Kermadecs.


March 2006 Cooler, Drier than Last Year

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Tawa’s climate during March 2006 was cooler and drier than the same period last year.

Two cold snaps, one at the beginning of the month, the other towards the end of March dragged the lowest temperature down to 5.0 °C, two degrees lower than last year.


Cluster of Earthquakes in the Kermadecs

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

A swarm of 12 earthquakes were recorded near the Kermadec Islands over last weekend, according to data made available by US Geological Survey.

Eleven of the quakes struck on Saturday within 140 km of the eastern shore of Raoul Island, with magnitudes between 6.5 and 4.8. Since then moderate earthquakes have been recorded at a rate of 1 per day.


Gisborne Flood 1910

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

A four-day deluge at the end of March 1910 caused widespread damage and disruption in Gisborne and Wairoa. One man was drowned.

J.A. Mackay records “Continuous rain from midday on 28 March until the afternoon of 1 April, 1910 (17.27 inches) [439 mm] led to a flood that was 18 inches [457 mm] higher in and around Te Hapara than the 1876 flood. At Bushmere the Waipaoa River rose 27 feet [8.2 metres] above normal level.”


More Earthquakes in the Kermadecs

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Earthquake activity near Raoul Island in the Kermadec chain has increased today.

In less than 24 hours, there have been 6 sizeable earthquakes within 110 km of the volcano on Raoul Island which erupted on March 17th.

Earthquakes reported by the US Geological Survey (times in NZST) are:
1:21 a.m., magnitude 6.5, 10 km deep, 110 km E of Raoul
2:06 a.m., magnitude 5.2, 10 km deep, 100 km ESE of Raoul
3:41 p.m., magnitude 4.8, 50 km deep, 75 km E of Raoul
5:16 p.m., magnitude 5.4, 25 km deep, 75 km ESE of Raoul
6:25 p.m., magnitude 5.2, 39 km deep, 60 km E of Raoul
8:19 p.m., magnitude 5.1, 72 km deep, 65 km E of Raoul

The last public update from GNS Science (formerly the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science) on its various websites about the volcano on Raoul was made on March 24th.

Earthquakes Near Raoul Island

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

Two shallow earthquakes were recorded near Raoul Island in the Kermadecs by the US Geological Survey overnight.

The first struck at 1:21 a.m. New Zealand Standard Time. It was a strong magnitude 6.5 event, 10 km deep, centred 110 km east of Raoul Island. The second was a moderate magnitude 5.2 quake at 2:06 a.m., 10 km deep, centred 100 km east-south-east of Raoul.