Earthquakes Near Wellington

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.

The first event at 7:26 p.m. on May 14th was located at a depth of 40 km and centred 30 km north-west of Wellington. The magnitude 3.8 shake was felt in Wellington and Marlborough according to data supplied by Geonet.

The second quake at 5:32 a.m. on May 15th was clearly felt during the southerly storm battering the lower North Island which had closed the Desert Road with snow and caused the cancellation of some inter-island ferry services due to six metre swells in Cook Strait. The earthquake was magnitude 5.0, 60 km deep, located 50 km north-west of Wellington. Geonet reports that the shake was felt throughout the Wellington region.

There have been 15 deep earthquakes in the area so far this year. During January, two earthquakes of magnitude 3.7 and 4.6 occurred at 60 and 160 km depths. During February seven events with magnitudes between 3.3 and 5.9 occurred at depths between 40 and 180 km. During March three quakes with magnitudes between 3.8 and 4.1 occurred at depths between 50 and 60 km. In April a further three events with magnitudes between 3.8 and 4.5 occurred at depths between 40 and 140 km. Most were within 60 km and all within a 170 km radius of Wellington.

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