Largest Onshore Quake Since November

Yesterday’s magnitude 5.3 earthquake near Taihape was New Zealand’s largest onshore earthquake since November.

The magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck at 4:34 p.m. NZDT on Thursday January 18th, 2007. The event was located 10 km north of Taihape at a depth of 50 km.

The greater depth of the earthquake means that damage is unlikely to have resulted, but allowed the earthquake to be felt over a greater distance.

The GeoNet website has received reports of the tremor from as far south as Nelson, up to Hawke’s Bay, across to the Bay of Plenty and New Plymouth in the west. In Wellington (more than 200 km from the epicentre), where more than 150 felt reports were filed, tall buildings swayed as a result of the quake.

The earthquake was the largest onshore quake since the magnitude 5.6 event 20 km south-east of Kawerau on November 29th. On this occasion too, damage was avoided, with the quake occurring at a depth of 80 km.

A shallower magnitude 4.9 quake, initially thought to be magnitude 5.1, near Matawai on December 5th caused minor damage by shaking items from shelves at Whakatane and Opotiki. This earthquake was at a depth of 40 km.

Yesterday’s Taihape quake and the Matawai quake of December 5th occurred on or near the interface between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates under the North Island. The quakes result from stress and movement as the Pacific Plate slides underneath the overlying Australian Plate.

[Compiled from data provided by Hazardwatch and the Geonet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST.]

One Response to “Largest Onshore Quake Since November”

  1. Chris says:

    I never felt yesterday’s quake in Central Wellington – but had a txt from home to say that it was a fair jolt.

    In fact, in my year in Wellington – I’ve only ever felt one E’quake in my office building…that would have been November…

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