Powerful earthquakes rock Christchurch

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At least 33 earthquakes rocked the earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, including two powerful 5.8 magnitude tremors.

The first quake struck at 1:58 pm as stores were packed with Christmas shoppers, turning their holiday mood into panic.

With inner-city streets gridlocked by people desperate to get home, the second 5.8 quake came 70 minutes later.

Aftershocks rolled on throughout the afternoon, several with a magnitude greater than 5, according to New Zealand’s GeoNet.

This new series of quakes comes just 10 months after swathes of the city were destroyed by another quake.

Although telephone and electric services were disrupted in many areas and rockfalls occurred in some coastal suburbs, police said there were no reports of other injuries or widespread damage.

The international airport and shopping malls were all evacuated and closed after the earthquake as a precautionary measure, but were expected to reopen later in the day.

Two vacant properties were reported to have collapsed and liquefaction appeared in some of the suburbs worst hit in previous earthquakes.

A Radio New Zealand reporter, Bridget Mills, said in places the tarmac felt “like jelly”, and there was fresh flooding caused by liquefaction.

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Thanks to Robert Stom and Carla Burgers in Christchurch, N.Z. for these links


8 thoughts on “Powerful earthquakes rock Christchurch”

  1. The educated idiots don’t have a clue on what is going on in Christchurch. Just like they dismissed the smell of volcanic gases after the first major earthquakes. Christchurch needs to be relocated but the stupid powers to be will not do that. Have to reduce the world population don’t we.

  2. GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. It is time to get out of dodge. In my humble opinion Christchurch is situated in the crater of a newly forming volcano. When is that volcano going to erupt in all its glory ? Well it is erupting already, but most of that eruption is still underground. Thus the earthquakes with more still to come. For various reasons my suspiction is that this March 2012 is going to be a disaster and probably not just for Christchurch. Relocating the whole of Christchurch to a less dangerous location will be more economical in the longer term. Restoration work is a total waste if you ask my opinion. So much better to simply relocate the population 100%. Anyone still in Christchurch is going to be a dead duck. Even if you have to live in a tent city, at least you will survive. What I am saying is that Christchurch is a death trap. Get the hell out of there.

  3. Hi

    From NZ. Christchurchs Banks Peninsula is comprised of two volcanic cones. Given the quakes are progressing eastward from the original Darfield quake in September 2010 (33kms), my theory is the path will eventually reach the kermadec/hikurangi trench. A resulting quake there may contribute to a new volcano rising. The trench is the home to Raoul Island, last erupted in 2006.
    The shallow (4 -6 kms) strong nature of these quakes is strangely reminiscent of those preceding a large volcanic eruption. Several large quakes followed by an increasing number of small shallow quakes (1 – 2kms)
    These identifiers are strongly evident in Christchurchs quakes. The quakes yesterday occured at the rims of a new crater in the harbour, which was on this blog early this year. Here’s a graphic of the quake positions 24/12/11
    All of which is terribly bad for Christchurch, but not as bad as for Wellington which is awaiting a M8 – 9 ripper!

  4. Actually, having a series of fairly strong earthquakes beats having one big one releasing all the energy. But it could indicate one of a lot of different things. As with the quake in Japan that caused an 8 inch displacement – though I never was able to find out with respects to what, much like all the other GPS figures we get from quakes. Seems things move, but without knowing relative to what, you are at a loss as to how to interpret the movement. Theory would be it moved relative to two other points that didn’t move, but no one ever says anything about reference frames.

    One “theory” that’s been going around for years is that the Earth actually is “growing” and that the plate edges aren’t moving one under the other, but are separating. This might work if we are truly starting our pass through the plane of the galaxy where the gravitation pull towards the center would be maximum, thus increasing the diameter of the Earth slightly and causing new cracks and earthquakes.

    When you stop and think that if you were at the center of the Earth, there would be equal amounts of “mass” pulling on you in all directions and thus you would have no relative weight, then you could see why the outward pull of the galaxy could cause the planet to grow a little each time it passed through the plane. HG Wells may very well have been right when he envisioned the center of the Earth to be hollow when he wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth. It makes more sense then the “crushed into molten metal” theory to me.

  5. So having some fairly strong earthquakes concentrated in the same area a sign of an increase in plate tectonic action? Or is there something else going on?

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