Earthquake in New Zealand. Statistics for the last 10 years, forecasts

earthquake of different degrees of power occur in new Oh Zeland with frightening regularity. Most of them are weak, barely tangible, are estimated at 2-3 points on the Richter scale. New Zealanders are so accustomed to it that they do not fall into a panic when the glass is trembling and there is a light vibration, as if a truck drove down the street.

Therefore, all New Zealanders will forever insure their lives and their property. Each family necessarily has a "alarming suitcase" with a basic set of necessary things in case of emergency situations.

The causes of earthquakes in New Zealand

New Zealand is located on the southern tip of the "Pacific Volcanic Fiery Ring" (belt), a geodynamic active zone formed by a series of volcanoes and tectonic faults, with a length of 40 thousand kilometers. Of the 540 currently known active terrestrial volcanoes, 328 are located in this zone. 90% of all earthquakes occur along the fire rings.


The territory of the Polynesian state New Zealand consists of two large islands - Northern and South. They are separated by the Strait of Cook, through which the ferry crossing is adjusted between the islands. Also NZ belongs about 700 small and very small islands, many of them are not populated. On the island of the North more than the current volcanoes than in South.

North Island is famous for its geysers, boiling mud and lakes. South Island became famous for huge glaciers, the most famous of them is a Cook glacier. Its length is 29 km, width - 2 km.

The line of convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian (formed from the merger of two plates 50 million years ago) and the Pacific (represents an exclusively oceanic part of the earth's crust) tectonic (lithospheric) plates is called the transformation "alpine" fault (Alpine Fault).

This line stretches along the western coast of the South Island for almost 500 km. These plates are among the 8 largest lithospheric plates known on Earth today. The largest tremors occur in the subduction zone, where the Pacific oceanic part of the earth's crust comes under the continental one.

The earthquake in New Zealand is caused by tectonic plates.

Long-term observations have established that the Pacific tectonic (lithospheric) plate subsides under the Australian one by about 3-5 cm per year. Docking of plates is accompanied by complex endogenous processes that change the structure and structure of the upper part of the lithosphere (the earth's crust).

The island part of New Zealand was not formed solely by lava flowing from active volcanoes over a long period of time, over two million years. Part of the land has risen above the water due to "dumps" (when part of the earth's crust rises relative to the other).

The islands are composed of intrusive, volcanic and unconsolidated sedimentary rocks of different time periods. Seismic activity in New Zealand remains very high.

Earthquakes in New Zealand as a constant phenomenon

Earthquakes in New Zealand, frequent and for the most part barely perceptible, have caused it to be sometimes referred to as the Shaky Isles. The geological formation of the Earth is not completed. Eruptive (volcanic) activity in the earth's crust of the Asia-Pacific region continues and is very active.

The results of this activity are observed with the arrival of Europeans on the islands, in a relatively short historically observable period of time. The most powerful shaking of the earth's crust, with a force of 8.2 points on the Richter scale, was recorded in 1855 in Wellington, then the coast rose by 1.5 meters.

The worst, most devastating earthquake that rocked the city of Napier, the center of the North Island's Hawke's Bay region, in 1931. The magnitude of the 7.8 earthquake killed 256 people. 9 sq. km of land then rose above the water surface.

Every year New Zealand is shaken by up to 15,000 tremors, approximately 250 of them are tangible (noticeable), the rest are considered weak. In comparison with neighboring states lying within the Pacific "fiery" belt, the level of tectonic activity in the NZ is not too high.

Shoulder magnitude higher than 7 points happen here about once every 10 years. Higher seismic activity is fixed in the northeast of the North Island, and in the west of the Southern Island.

Description, consequences of earthquakes in New Zealand, recovery

Strong underground shocks leave scary consequences:

  • deep, up to hundreds of meters, cracks on the earth's surface, screaming loose soil and landslides;
  • Education in the thickness of water-saturated alluvial sediments of sediments, which are quickly filled with water. The relief of the terrain changes greatly;
  • there are surface faults and the displacement of the earth's crust along the fault line;
  • The depth of drinking wells and wells changes, they are filled with mud;
  • The river beds change their directions, dumps and dams arise;
  • Frequently damage to the supporting structures of buildings, bridges, iron and highway, engineering communications;
  • Power lines, plumbing and gas pipes are broken, it leads to flooding and fires;
  • Streets become neurotic due to destroyed roads.

All this greatly makes access to destroyed buildings, conducting emergency rescue work. Each earthquake entails the destroyed human life, the death of people, technogenic catastrophes.

The scale of a magnitude adopted in Russia and called the Richter scale is determined by the amount of energy allocated during the earthquake. It is based on the readings of the seismographs.

On the Richter scale, the force of the earthquake is classified as follows:

DESCRIPTION barely tangible shocksshocks, leading to small destruction, leading to moderate destructioncatastrophic destruction
Magnid (points)

Scientists believe that the earthquake of magnitude does not occur on Earth, more than 9 points.

December 20, 2007

A series of earthquakes with an epicenter of 50 km southeast of the city of Gisborne on the North Island began at 19.55 by New Zealand. The magnitude of the strongest push was 6.8 points. A few hours after that, the land was shaken by Aftershoki, the magnitude of which reached 4.5 points.

The hypocenter was located at a depth of 40 km under the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in the Hicooragi District.

The high depth of the focus was quicted with a shock wave, so the tsunami was not formed. In Gisborne, a fully wine plant was destroyed. In Wellington, many quarters were de-energized, glasses were knocked out in buildings. There are no victims.

August 25, 2008

Earthquake in the intensity of 5.9 Shakestoles Points in New Zealand on Monday, August 25, 2008. The epicenter was located in the Hox Bay area, 10 km south-west of Hastings. Gipocenter lay down at a depth of 31 km. Tangible shocks felt in the nepire, located 20 km from Hastings.

July 15, 2009

Powerful underground push by force 7.8 points shown South Island about 21.22 by New Zealand time. The epicenter was in a bare-available area of ​​the National Reserve Park Fjordland, not far from the Dasky-Sound fjord. It is not far from Invercargill, 150 km northwest.

The earthquake was the largest from the time the tragic seismic catastrophe in Hawks-Bay occurred in 1931. The underground storm provoked a tectonic gap and a scuffing of the earth's crust at the place of the junction of the Pacific tectonic (lithospheric) plate with Australian. On a huge plot, mining layers took up to a height of 2 meters.

The power was equal to 500 million tons in the trinitrotrololol equivalent. This is 25,000 times more powerful gap over Nagasaki nuclear bomb, discarded by an American pilot in 1945. Destruction was small, several people got into hospitals with injuries that were not dead. In some areas, there were interruptions in power supply.

Large landslides and soil sewage were formed in the National Reserve Park Fjordland. A large number of Aftersokov was registered. The population was adopted about the threat of tsunami, but she was not confirmed. Two-meter waves were observed in the Saoutland area.

September 4, 2010

The terrible hum and the incredible force of an underground push woke the inhabitants of Canterbury at 4.35 in New Zealand. The strongest earthquake in Canterbury, the second largest NZ region, is also called "earthquake in Darfield", "Earthquake in Christchurch". The epicenter was between cities Christcher and Darfield.

The power of the first, the strongest, the push was 7.1 score. Gypocenter (focus) was located at a depth of 11 km. The threats of the tsunami did not arise, as the focus was in the depths of the island.

There were no victims, about 100 people were recorded.

More than half of buildings and engineering communications were crushed in Christchurch, the road fabric was broken and deep cracks in the ground were formed. Facts of looting have been recorded. The authorities have declared a state of emergency in Christchurch. Damage was estimated at NZ$40 billion. The devastating aftershocks did not stop for half a year.

The strongest of them, with a force of 6.3 points, thundered from Invercargill to Wellington, killed 185 people. Aftershocks are a completely uncharacteristic phenomenon for Canterbury, since there is relatively low seismic activity in that area.

A series of aftershocks helped seismologists discover previously inactive tectonic (lithospheric) faults in the South Island, in the center and in the east of the island.

February 22, 2011

Earthquakes in New Zealand are so frequent that sometimes the next earthquake is a powerful aftershock of the previous one. A devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the second largest city in NZ Christchurch (Canterbury region, South Island) was an aftershock of the September 2010 earthquake

Its epicenter was located only 9.7 km from the central square of Christchurch. The hypocenter of the underground storm lay at a shallow depth of 4 km. The shallow occurrence of the hypocenter explains the great destruction and many human casualties. The city of 400,000, whose name in English means the Church of Christ, was turned into ruins in its central part.

The central cathedral was severely destroyed, tens of thousands of people lost their roof over their heads. 185 dead, 250 missing (among them 12 students and teachers from Japan who came for internships) - sad statistics. Alive from under the rubble in the first 2 days managed to extract 70 people.

The magnitude of the earthquake is confirmed by the release of 30 million tons of ice from the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's largest glacier. The glacier is located 250 km from Christchurch. John Key, Prime Minister of the country, in his speech on New Zealand television, in desperation called this day "the blackest and most tragic in the history of the country."

A 3-day mourning was declared in the country, a state of emergency was introduced, and a curfew was introduced in the city. Experts estimated the damage caused by the catastrophe at $15 billion. This natural disaster is the worst that has happened in the NZ in the last 80 years.

June 13, 2011

Earthquakes in New Zealand force local residents and visitors to experience fear and unrest, loss of loved ones, loss of property. Another powerful push was felt by residents in the afternoon, at 14.20 New Zealand time, in Christchurch. The push force was 6.4 points. Its epicenter was located near Christchurch, just 10 km southeast of the city. The focus lay down at a depth of 7 km.

A powerful concussion of the earth's crust was preceded by a strong form in the intensity of 6.0 points, its gipocenter was located at a depth of 9 km. The reason for this was the supernature, which emerged at the place of contact of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates in the south-east of the destructive turn passing through the Southern Island (Rift Hope, Alpine Rift).

the catastrophe caused huge damage, over 54,000 houses were de-energized as a result of a fan turning off electricity. Over 70 underground high-voltage lines were damaged. The displacement of the earth's crust was ruined the pipes of the water supply, the central streets were flooded. In the hospital, Christchurch there was a fire due to closure and fire in electrical protection.

Almost all structures were collapsed up to Danidin, more than hundreds of buildings were

completely destroyed, unsuitable for recovery. The authorities were decided to demolish the 130-year-old Cathedral in Christchurch, previously destroyed by the February concussion, and now completely destroyed. The shallow target of the Gip Center explains the fact that the strong vibration of the earth was felt throughout the territory of the central and southern districts of the South Island.

A wavy relief shape significantly strengthened the negative consequences of a seismic impact. Due to numerous landslides, rocks and rocks and storms were injured by many houses and buildings in the suburbs of SMERTER and RarCliffs.

46 people turned on emergency medical help, one person died. A much larger possible number of victims helped to avoid emergency evacuation after the first weak push.

July 3, 2012

The seismic storm over the past 119 years, the earthquake-record holder in the intensity of 7 points shook the bay of South Taranaki (pink bay). Underground thunderstorm began at 22.36 by New Zealand. The earthquake hypocenter was very deep, at a depth of 236 km. His epicenter was located 57 km south-west of the city of Esuna, with a population of 1.5 thousand people.

The most strong concussions of the earth's crust were felt on the West Bank of the Northern Island, between captivity and Canterbury. The earthquake lasted only 15 seconds without proving the tsunami. On the 9th minute, after the first push, a repeated kick took place at 6.4 points. Due to the fact that the focus was deep underground, victims and large destruction was avoided.

July 21, 2013

Under the oceanic bottom, under the Strait of Cook, 43 km south-west of Wellington, at a depth 10 km, at 18.00 on New Zealand time, there was a powerful underground blow to magnitude 6.5 points.. 10 hours before the main shock, the form was marked by the force of 5.9 points, and 10 hours after the shock - the Efmershchok magnitude 4.8 points. There were no victims and serious destruction.

Railway communication was interrupted, as a result of damage to the railway canvas. There was a panic among residents of the New Zealand capital. The earthquake was triggered by the compression voltage in faults between the tectonic plates directed from the west to the east.

August 16, 2013

on Monday night, the clock showed 15.31 on New Zealand time, New Zealand survived the strongest underground push intensity of 6.8 points in the city of Seddon, Malborough district. The hypocenter arose at a depth of 10 km under the oceanic bottom, the epicenter was lying in a triangle formed by Christcherch, Wellington and Nelson.

The earthquake gave rise to severe destruction in areas most popular with tourists. A strong blow under the bottom of the ocean spawned a powerful tsunami. In some areas, the wave height reached 5 meters. Human victims once managed to avoid. [183! The concussion of the earth's crust lasted only one minute, after which a series of aftershoks followed. The intensity of the strongest equal was 4.5 points.

According to eyewitness testimonies, the strong vibration of the earth's crust was accompanied by a sinister deafening rumble, which produces a moving train.

the earthquake caused insignificant destruction and numerous power failures due to the gaps of high-voltage lines. In the building of Wellington Airport, a huge 2-ton figure of an eagle from the fantastic film "The Hobbit", with a scope of the wings of 15 meters, collapsed, only miraculously imparting air passengers. Flights were not canceled. There were no information about the victims.

November 13, 2016

an earthquake in New Zealand, sometimes hardly tangible, have long become familiar to New Zealanders. Panic does not arise, people know how to behave in an emergency. But a terrible earthquake that shook and turned the city on the night from Sunday on November 13 for Monday on November 14, 2013, eyewitnesses and today recall the shudder.

Crushing underground strikes had a magnitude 7.4 points. The epicentral region was located 95 km from the center of Canterbury, Christchurch. As a result of this catastrophic earthquake, the Earth's axis of rotation shifted 2 meters to the north. A tsunami wave 2 meters high, a terrible inevitable wall hit the east coast of the South Island two hours after the first shock.

The population was warned that the first wave would be followed by higher ones. People were advised to hurry to leave their homes and go inland. The aftershocks that followed seemed endless. Their number exceeded 2.8 thousand. Tremors of terrible force destroyed the central highways, broke through the dam of the Clarence River, and there was a threat of flooding in the city.

The level of the earth's surface in some areas rose by 8 m. According to the Guardian newspaper, the distance between the South and North Islands decreased by 5 m after this earthquake. According to the GPS system, 6 new faults formed in the north of the South Island, the lighthouse at Cape Campbell "grew" by 1 m, and the cape became 2 m closer to the North Island.

Geodetic coordinates have changed in many cities of the country. Wellington and Christchurch "moved" northward by 6 cm and 2 cm, respectively. A satellite photo spread around the world, showing three cows miraculously escaping on a tiny hill formed by a collapse of the soil around it.

The unmistakable instinct of cows, which allowed them to cluster on the safest land area during earthquakes, is surprising.

Eyewitnesses, in addition, said that during the strongest vibrations and tremors of the earth's crust, bright flashes of bluish color were observed in the black night sky. or yellow-greenish color, glowing for several seconds. Scientists still cannot explain the nature of these outbreaks.

December 8, 2017

At 02.09 GMT, near the Kermandek archipelago formed by the New Zealand Outer Islands, a tectonic plate collision occurred at a depth of 10 km. The force of impact was estimated at 6.2 points. The walls swayed, and the earth began to vibrate and leave from under the feet of the inhabitants of the city of Whangarei.

The epicentral region was located a short distance north of the city, in the open ocean. There were no casualties, the underground thunderstorm did not provoke the formation of a tsunami.

April 3, 2018

At 12.49 New Zealand time, an earthquake struck south of the island arc (archipelago) Kermandek, 90 km from the largest uninhabited island of Raoul, belonging to the arc. The intensity of the first tremor was 5.7 points.

The focus of the underground storm lay down deep enough, at a depth of 50 km, so there was no victims. The shock wave from the hypocenter reached the oceanic bottom significantly weakened, without proving the occurrence of the tsunami.

October 30, 2018

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the Chamber of Representatives from the Queen of New Zealand was forced to emerge a parliament meeting. The reason for this was powerful underground shocks, the magnid of the first was equal to 6.1 points. The floor shrewd up, the walls and chandeliers were injected, a threatening buzz ran out from the street, an emergency evacuation of people across emergency exits began.

The epicenal region fell on the central region of the country, in 98 km south from the city of Wanganui with a population of about 40 thousand inhabitants. The depth of the focus was 227 km. It was this that helped to avoid significant destruction and human losses.

On January 23, 2019

, NZ seismologists on Wednesday, January 23, at 20.09 on New Zealand time, near the ancient city of Wanganui, a series of underground strikes was noted. The intensity of the strongest was equal to 4.7 points. The depth of the hypocenter was equal to 96 km, the epicenal region lay in 5 km north of Wanganui.

Residents of Wanganui experienced a lot of terrible minutes, feeling underground shocks and vibration of walls. The seismic storm did not led to great destruction, and managed to avoid human losses.

Statistics and forecasts

The last millennium marked 4 large displacements of lithospheric plates, provoked by large earthquake by force from 8 points and higher. Such shifts occurred at 1100, 1450, 1620 and 1717. After an extreme earthquake (1717), caused by the shear of the earth's crust on a stretch of length more than 400 km, it has already passed more than between previous catastrophes.

Obviously, you can currently expect an epochal earthquake of an unprecedented force at any time. Scientists argue that the rapprochement of the islands of the North and South will continue, but the rapprochement will be slow. The confirmation of this theory is the reduction in 2 years distance between Wellington and Campbell Cape by 5 cm.

a real catastrophe, the emission of an underground voltage of incredible power, expects New Zealand in the nearest 20th anniversary. Such a disappointing forecast of geologists and seismologists of the German Center for Studying the Earth (Potsdam, Germany). Over the course of two years, they recorded an increase in temperature and increase in pressure in the crossed NZ with a transformer alpine fault.

Temperature measurements at a depth of 900 meters, in a mine in the southwest of the South Island, prove the boiling of water and the melting of rocks. This unequivocally indicates the growing intensity of tectonic pressure. The maximum temperature difference between the lowest and highest parts of the Alpine Fault is 125 degrees Celsius.

Such discrepancy is typical only for active volcanoes. The intensity of the expected seismic thunderstorm, an underground storm, will be at least 9 points, according to scientists. Seismic waves will move along the faults and create a domino effect.

According to the developed mathematical models, a catastrophic earthquake will have an epicenter in the ocean, at a considerable distance from land. Therefore, it will provoke a huge tsunami that will reach the coast in less than 10 minutes. Earthquakes around the world have taught people to respect the elemental force of nature.

And in New Zealand, the Kiwi people, as the New Zealanders are called, learned to arrange their lives, taking into account the elements, not trying to subjugate it to themselves. Regular monitoring of volcanoes, faults in the earth's crust, the development of new earthquake-resistant technologies in construction, constant explanatory work among the population make it possible to avoid significant damage and casualties.

Article design: Oleg Lozinsky

Video about earthquakes in New Zealand

New Zealand under the threat of a magnitude 9 earthquake with a tsunami: