Archive for May, 2006

Island Watch: Strong Aftershock Near Tonga

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

A strong aftershock of the magnitude 7.9 earthquake of May 4th near Tonga occurred this afternoon.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake, 50 km deep struck 145 km NNE of Nuku’Alofa at 3:36 this afternoon, New Zealand time.


Island Watch – Tonga Aftershocks

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Aftershocks of the major earthquake near Tonga on May 4th (NZ Time) rapidly abated in frequency and strength over the following three weeks.


The Gisborne Earthquake of 1931. Part 2: The Event

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Residents of Poverty Bay had felt many of the aftershocks of the Hawke’s Bay quakes of February 1931 and, as they decreased in frequency, life began to return to normal.

Forty kilometres inland from Gisborne, at the small settlement of Tiniroto, the 40-odd residents were well-advanced with building and chimney restoration work by May of 1931. However, they had noticed a peculiar aspect of the earthquakes since February.


The Gisborne Earthquake of 1931. Part 1: Background

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Three months after the devastating Hawke’s Bay earthquake and firestorm, communities along much of the North Island’s eastern coast were still in recovery and assessment mode.

Clearance of rubble had largely been completed in Manawatu, Wairarapa and the Gisborne – East Coast areas. Insurance assessors were still busy compiling their reports, and many chimneys had been repaired or replaced in preparation for the winter months.


South Island Quakes of the 1960s

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

New Zealand’s largest earthquakes during the 1960s struck in the South Island, and killed 3 people. Both quakes were magnitude 7 and they occurred on May 24th, eight years apart.


The Boiger’s Back

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

Another new menu at The Roundabout pub in Tawa sees the return of the noble burger. There’s chicken and a beef/cheese ensemble with the option of an egg, and the kiwi requirement of a slab of beetroot is catered for.

Seafood and pork also feature on the menu.


April Thunderstorms

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

April is a month when various parts of New Zealand experience impressive thunderstorms.

Last month was no different, with people in Waikato and Coromandel reporting a thoroughly entertaining thunderstorm which kept many awake for hours late in the month.

Earlier in April, Wellington experienced noisy thunderstorms on three successive nights on the 8th, 9th and 10th.


Major Earthquake in the Kermadecs

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

A major earthquake in the Kermadec Islands was felt widely throughout New Zealand’s North Island late this evening.

Early estimates by the US Geological Survey put the earthquake, which struck at 10:39 p.m., at magnitude 7.4, located 150 km deep centred 290 km SSW of Raoul Island.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a bulletin just before 11:00 p.m. advising that a Pacific-wide tsunami event was unlikely based on historical data.

Geological Summary for New Zealand Area, April 2006

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Geonet, the USGS (NEIC) and GNS Science reported 61 earthquakes in the New Zealand area between the Kermadec Islands in the north, and the Auckland Islands to the south during April 2006. The magnitude distributions were as follows:
M6 to 6.9 (1), M5 to 5.9 (21), M4 to 4.9 (30) M3 to 3.9 (7).
An additional 2 events in the magnitude 2 range were deemed worthy of mention.


Earthquakes Near Wellington

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Two earthquakes near Wellington struck within ten hours of each other overnight.

The earthquakes were located under Cook Strait, where activity has been occurring intermittently in recent months.


April 2006 Wetter, Warmer

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Tawa’s climate during April 2006 was wetter and warmer than April last year and windier and warmer than the previous three years.


Erratic Aftershocks Near Tonga

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Aftershocks following Thursday’s magnitude 7.9 earthquake centred 160 km north-east of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa have been erratic over the past four days.

Normally, a large earthquake is followed by a series of earthquakes which tend to decrease in frequency and strength over time, with occasional members of the sequence being of higher magnitude. This illustrates the crust surrounding the area of the rupture reacting to the change in stress caused by the large earthquake.

Tonga’s aftershock series has not followed this trend, but I hasten to add that not all earthquake sequences follow this trend of decreasing activity. Even in New Zealand, we see earthquake and aftershock sequences that don’t “follow the rules.”


Earthquakes Near Tonga – an update

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

Earthquakes near Tonga have continued at a steady rate since Thursday’s major earthquake, but their intensity has rapidly abated.


Earthquakes Near Tonga

Friday, May 5th, 2006

The series of earthquakes occurring near Tonga in the wake of yesterday’s magnitude 7.9 quake appears to be settling into an earthquake/aftershock sequence.

Seismologists will be watching activity over the few days to confirm the sequence.


Sensible East Coasters

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

It is reported that several hundred Gisborne and East Coast residents took the decision to evacuate their houses and head for higher ground following news of the strong earthquake near Tonga this morning.

While Civil Defence authorities dithered, people reacted to radio and extensive reporting of the earthquake and tsunami risk on satellite television channels.