Some of you have been asking about the recent earthquake in Christchurch. We were in Auckland at the time, so we didn't experience it firsthand. We heard about it on the news shortly after it happened.
Earthquakes are part of the deal when you come here. GeoNets estimates that about 20,000 earthquakes happen around NZ each year, although only about 250 of those are big enough to feel. (And New Zealand doesn't even make the top 10 for earthquakes around the world!) Severe earthquakes like the one on Sunday happen much less often. If you're interested in info on the magnitudes and locations of recent (felt) earthquakes in New Zealand, the button below will take you to a website that tracks them. I usually check it if I think I've felt a little rumbling, just to satisfy that age old question: earthquake or really big truck?
This quake was one of many that have been part of the chain reaction the magnitude 7.1 earthquake of 2010 (including the much more famous 2011 quake) caused. At magnitude 5.7 this one was decidedly tamer, but it probably brought back some unwelcome memories. While it caused a huge chunk of cliff to cleave away and seriously rattled some people, I haven't been able to find any reports of serious injuries or deaths in this or any of the aftershocks that have followed. If you want to read more about the recent earthquake, its cause, and the likelihood of repeats in the area, the below button links to an article about it.
It stands to reason that the people who remain in Christchurch five years after such a big earthquake must be cut from sturdy cloth, and some are saying that the media coverage of this has been overblown and even said the recent earthquake was not a big deal. People steadied their TVs, things fell of shelves, buildings were evacuated--all pretty normal in a place that feels the earth shake regularly. However, I can't imagine the people who witnessed the cliff falling would say that wasn't a big deal to them. (Note to self, don't live on a cliff in an earthquake prone area.) At least as an outsider, it seems natural to question your safety. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle, but given that the city is used to dealing with events like this, and everyone came out OK, I'd call that a win.
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