Alpine Fault nudges us with a reminder


Moderate earthquakes on Alpine Fault rock Queenstown area

THE PRESS, Maddison Northcott, 9 June 2019

GeoNet is reminding people to be prepared following a magnitude 5.5 earthquake near Milford Sound.

More than 600 people around Queenstown and Wanaka reported feeling the 3.24am earthquake on Sunday, which was 5 kilometres deep and hit 40 kilometres north-east of Milford Sound.

Geonet ranked the earthquake, which was one of a series of rubbles in the area, as "moderate". A second magnitude 3.9 earthquake less than ten minutes later was recorded as "weak", as was a third at 3.35am.

The seismologist on duty at Geonet said the quake appeared to have occurred on the Alpine Fault.

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"This fault system has the potential for larger events and we would like to make sure that you are prepared for a large earthquake at all times", a tweet from Geonet said.

The Alpine Fault runs almost the entire length of the South Island, and a signifcant earthquake there would be felt by much of the country. The last major Alpine Fault earthquake happened in 1717 and was estimated to have had a magnitude of around 8.1.

People were advised to follow advice from Civil Defence on earthquake preparation, which included developing an emergency communication plan with your family and keeping a torch and sturdy shoes by each person's bed.

Full story here:

Alpine Fault is better understood – but that won't stop the Big One

The Press, Paul Gorman0, Jun 15 2019

This is it: Franz Josef. The place which will be split apart by titanic forces when the Alpine Fault can't take the pressure anymore.

That could be today, it could still be 100 years hence – although the probabilities are against that, given scientists have found the fault has ruptured 27 times during the past approximately 8000 years.

The last great magnitude 8-plus quake it generated was in 1717, give or take a year or two. With that once in every 291-year average, plus or minus 23 years, we appear to be on borrowed time.

Be prepared

EQC advises everyone should be prepared. “We can't predict natural disasters, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Whether you own your home, rent a property or are thinking of buying, find out what you can do to make your home safer for you, your family or flatmates”.

Simon Darby