New Zealand: Earthquake of magnitude 6.3 detected off coast
An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of New Zealand on Wednesday. The quake's epicenter was located 50 km northwest of the town of Paraparaumu at a depth of 50 km near Wellington, as per GeoNet, the New Zealand government's seismic monitor. No loss of life or property was reported until the filing of this report.
Why does this story matter?
- New Zealand falls in the seismically active "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches spanning 40,000 in the Pacific Ocean.
- Seismic faults beneath this region cause frequent earthquakes.
- The island nation is currently battling Cyclone Gabrielle, which has caused floods, landslides, and high winds. Around four people died in the cyclone which has now weakened and moved away from New Zealand.
National Emergency has been declared already
Tremors lasted for 15-20 seconds
Within 15 minutes of the quake, around 31,000 people reported on GeoNet that they felt the tremors, which lasted for about 15-20 seconds. No tsunami warning has been issued yet. The magnitude of the earthquake was 5.7 as per the US Geological Survey and 6.1 according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). A national emergency was declared in New Zealand, prompted by the cyclone.
An earthquake in 2011 killed 185
The Cook Strait divides New Zealand into two major islands—North and South. The earthquake on Wednesday struck at the southern end of the North Island. In 2011, an earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people and destroying thousands of buildings. Meanwhile, the death toll due to a series of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has crossed 41,000.