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Earthquake in New Zealand

Dylan Palmer

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According to BBC, the quakes that hit New Zealand are some the most complex ever seen. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.8 and two people were killed near Christchurch on Monday night at midnight.

Scientists that were studying the earthquake said it is one of the most complex quakes ever seen because it was actually two earthquakes that merged together and lasted for two minutes.

Most earthquakes are on a single fault line but this earthquake occurred on six fault lines. The earthquake started in the south and moved to the north. The whole country was affected by the quake. The damage went for 7,000 kilometers, and many roads and buildings had considerable damage in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

The earthquake started a tsunami and people began to evacuate the area. Not much was damaged, there was only one house that was affected; the tsunami ripped the house off of its foundation and pushed it 4.2 miles from where it used to be.

One of the bad things that this earthquake caused was that it raised the seabed and stranded enormous amounts of sea life. Many of this marine life was crayfish and paua, an edible snail harvested for its meat and shells. This could seriously disrupt the income of the fishing industry. The sea life could take years to recover from the earthquake.

Up to over 1,000 quakes were triggered from this earthquake. This blocked major roads and railway routes, causing cars to be able not to get to their destination and get trapped in the dangerous area. Lots of sediment from the landslide are flooding downstream in the river system.

Around 1,000 tourists and some cattle were evacuated from the town of Kaikoura, which is famous for its whale watching opportunities. This town took a lot of damage but luckily everyone made it out safely.

New Zealand hasn’t had any more recent quakes, but it will take a while for them to recover. Ron Hebberd, who lives with his wife Shirley in the center of the Seddon township says it brought back bad memories of a 5.5 earthquake.

“It was a long one, not just a jolt,” he said. “The wife is getting very jumpy, she was up on her feet and getting the keys to wait it out in the campervan.”

“The little ones are bad enough, but the big ones make you stop and think ‘why do I live here?'”

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Earthquake in New Zealand