Strong Quake, Fiordland

A strong undersea earthquake struck off the coast of Fiordland this evening.

Monday, 13th October 2014

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Fiordland, 140 km west of Tuatapere at 6:14 this evening, New Zealand Daylight Time. GeoNet reports that the quake was 10 km deep and that it was felt as far north as Auckland. The earthquake was felt throughout Fiordland, Southland and Otago.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the event as magnitude 5.7 at a depth of 10 km. Their analysis places the quake off-shore, 161 km west-south-west of Te Anau, 193 km west of Invercargill, close to where GeoNet has placed the epicentre.

Geoscience Australia reports the quake as magnitude 6.0 at a depth of 7 km and estimates that it would have been felt up to 460 km from the epicentre.

Two aftershocks of magnitude 4.4 and 4.7 were recorded by GeoNet at 6:27 p.m. and 7:24 p.m. These aftershocks were closer to shore, being 85 km west of Tuatapere and 95 km west of Tuatapere respectively.

In a brief item about the main event, Kevin Fenaughty of GeoNet noted that tonight’s earthquake was almost identical to the magnitude 6.2 quake which struck 125 km west of Tuatapere at 1:07 a.m. on the 23rd of December 2013. This event was the largest to strike the region since 2009.

Fiordland is a seismically active area, and the 2013 quake was the latest of a dozen large earthquakes to strike the area in twenty years. Fiordland experienced a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in July 2009 and a magnitude 7.2 event in August 2003.

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