Wairoa rocked by more than 20 quakes in 24 hours

Last updated 09:51 23/02/2013

Relevant offers

Hawke's Bay

Sports coach manipulated girl Crosses honour soldiers' sacrifice 'I knew I had killed him' - officer Port profits to pay for dam, almost Lock down at Marineland proves tricky Changes to dam plan could affect viability Police shooting actions 'commendable' Board approves $275m dam plan Fatal police shooting inquest begins Girl shot by 12-year-old brother

The Hawke's Bay town of Wairoa has been rocked by more than 20 earthquakes in the past 24 hours - a pattern that could be in play for days, scientists say.

According to Geonet, the strongest shakes still only measured "light" on the intensity scale, but the series was unlikely to let up for a couple of days.

Geonet data centre manager Kevin Fenaughty said the event was known as an "earthquake swarm."

Earthquake swarms are events where a local area experiences sequences of many earthquakes striking in a relatively short period of time. 

"This activity really burst into life yesterday evening soon after 5:30 pm, with six noticeable quakes occurring within 45 minutes," he said. 

Since then, further pulses of activity were recorded between 9:45 and 10:00 pm, 12:45 and 1:45am, and most recently between 7:20 am and 9.30 am.

A 4.8 was recorded at 7.21 this morning, at a depth of 67km, just 40km south of Wairoa. 

According to reports, it was felt as far north as Waitoa, near Morrinsville, and as far south as Poukawa, below Havelock North.

Fenaughty said the duration of a swarm could not be predicted, but past experience with this part of New Zealand suggests that this one is of the order of days. 

It could then recur at a later date after a break in the activity. 

Another characteristic of swarms was that no single earthquake in the sequence was obviously the main shock. 

It is unlikely unlikely the quakes would get bigger than the 4.8 recorded to date, but it could be ruled out, Fenaughty said.

Ad Feedback

- © Fairfax NZ News

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Would you support your local council paying the 'living wage'?

Yes - it's moral and fair, no matter the costs.

Yes, but there should be a cap on the wage.

Only for the very lowest waged.

Not at all - survival of the fittest.

Don't know/Not sure.

Vote Result

Related story: Council's living wage blowout

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content