Swarm of quakes rattle Bay of Plenty
A swarm of earthquakes rattled the Bay of Plenty last night, and a seismologist says the rumbling could continue for a few days.
A magnitude 3.3 quake struck 10 kilometres north of Kawerau at 7.47pm. It was followed by a magnitude 2.9 quake at 8.52pm and a magnitude 2.4 quake at 9.18pm, both which were only 2km deep.
The quakes were felt in Kawerau, Whakatane and Onepu, according to "felt it" reports on GNS Science.
A swarm of earthquakes like these usually occurred in the area every couple of years and could go on for days, GNS seismologist John Ristau said.
"You tend to get basically what we call a swarm of earthquakes, so small earthquakes that happen over time, but not necessarily a big single earthquake," Ristau said.
"These sorts of events are often associated with volcanic areas."
The Bay of Plenty is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
Earthquakes in the Bay of Plenty were usually less than magnitude 4, but some centred near White Island were greater than magnitude 5, Ristell said.
However, larger quakes can and do occur.
A magnitude 6.3 quake in the Bay of Plenty in 1987, known as the Edgecumbe quake, caused widespread damage. No one was killed but several people were badly injured. Aftershocks were felt for weeks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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