back to article Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science has released videos showing the fault lines that ruptured during the recent earthquakes that moved the nation two metres north. The Kaikoura earthquake struck on November 14th, 2016, and caused extensive damage on New Zealand's South Island. Two people died as a result of the …

  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Yikes..

      I said something that could be translated as that at various times during the night...

      But only if you use some very extreme toning down of the actual words..

    2. Ralph B

      Yikes indeed. I was also imagining the tsunami of property rights disputes that may follow.

      Do you get to keep the 8m of your land that has jumped into what was (or still is?) your neighbour's property?

      1. -tim

        Re: property rights

        It is my understanding that property right laws in New Zealand already cover what happens in the case where the land changes sizes. If I remember the conversation correctly, it is that old minor natural boundaries like fence lines or tree lines that move are the new boundary but the land owner could be out of luck if the boundary is a river or road next to a coast. I was told this by someone working for their geo sciences department more than a decade ago. He mentioned that part of the south end of the North Island managed to move 0.6 of a meter in less than 3 months without anything other that the Differential GPS tracking sites indicating the relocation.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Do you get to keep the 8m of your land that has jumped into what was (or still is?) your neighbour's property?

        I was wondering the same when seeing some of that footage last night. Afraid I am quite clueless on such issues.

        And what of items on the property? Ok so by using strict co-ordinates most people have the same land area, but that's my grass on the other side of the line now, my money went into the fertilizer etc that went on the ground, my cattle (or sheep if you're an ozzie) shat on it contributing to the makeup of the content of the grass.

        Who can you go to to arrange a license for the use of such IP?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least most of the country moved away from Australia

    Joking aside, modern imagery is awesome. Just a couple of weeks later and thanks to drones and satellites we know how comprehensively fucked the country is, tweets almost outpacing seismic waves. A great time for lovers of disaster porn to be alive (and less facetiously for all those involved too: Only two deaths from this series of quakes is a tribute to both building codes and blind dumb luck)

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

      You're talking about a country with more land area than the UK, and one-fifteenth of the population. And three-quarters of that one-fifteenth are in the North Island, the closest point of which is at least 100km from the epicentre.

      And it's summer, although it has been raining quite a bit.

      So the low casualties, while gratifying, aren't that surprising. And calling the country "comprehensively fucked" would be like calling the UK "comprehensively fucked" if Brighton Pier collapsed. (I mean, it is fairly fucked, but the earthquake is a relatively small part of that.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

        I'm feeling downright down because the past few years have dinged some "certainties" of my youth: Wellington's what you really need to worry about, the backbone of the Alps is pretty much rubble, East Cape is bad news, and Christchurch is The Garden City. And now we've learnt that actually the entire east coast is a mess of interlocking faults including plenty of unknown ones such as the Darfield one that trashed Christchurch as an aftershock. Costs guesstimated around $40B for the earlier ones, the Kaikoura addition looking to keep the main road north closed for months and with costs guesstimated $2-4B. With the prospect of plenty more fun to come, perhaps further to the north, i.e. closer to Welly, if indeed strain is transferring along the plate boundary (or maybe not, or not in our lifetimes - only certainty about quakes is that each one provides a wealth of new data for geologists) So that's my despondency fuel - this past decade has featured surprise upon surprise and not many of them the nicer sort.

        ...excepting that loss of life figure: sure it's sparsely populated, but this was a quake series that led to modern buildings in building-code-conscious Wellington being so badly damaged that they're being demolished, residents evacuated for weeks, etc. And all that's 150km from the epicentres; surprising indeed.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

        So the low casualties, while gratifying, aren't that surprising. And calling the country "comprehensively fucked" would be like calling the UK "comprehensively fucked" if Brighton Pier collapsed. (I mean, it is fairly fucked, but the earthquake is a relatively small part of that.)

        Mongo said it well. Wellington (our capital) has several buildings in it and the outlying suburbs being demolished, or quite badly damaged. Some are only a few years old, supposedly built to very high (on an international scale) earthquake standards. "Several" is in the hundreds, with I think thousands currently out of work and out of homes. Not all businesses can pay for the wages for their staff while they can't get into their buildings, and the government isn't able to afford to compensate/help out all firms (while simultaneously refusing aid from overseas! (last I heard) ).

        While helping with out high unemployment, the costs of these quakes (both the last couple of weeks and the Christchurch ones) will be felt by us for a long time to come. And if the Kaikoura quakes follow the pattern from Christchurch and/or, as Mongo mentions, they hit Wellington which is kinda next on the list (we had a lot around Seddon/in the Cook Straight a year or two back), then we will see another massive lot of damage with subsequent loss of life, homes and businesses. If any generate a significant tsunami...

        So yes, we are rather close to the region of "fucked".

        1. SysKoll

          Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

          "forgive us a story comprised of"

          COMPOSED OF, please. Comprise is a synonym of include. A story could not be "included of", now, could it?

          The Kiwis suffered enough from this earthquake. Don't compound their torment with shaky grammar.

          1. Mikey 1

            Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

            It says "forgive us a story comprised almost entirely"

            Seems right.

            edited?

            The trio comprised two violins and a cello.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: At least most of the country moved away from Australia

          So yes, we are rather close to the region of "fucked".

          Don't suppose the downvoters would care to elaborate on what they felt was wrong with my post?

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Thank God Ryanair don't fly to New Zealand, he'd used this excuse to bump the fares up.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Whilst of comedic value, Ryanair might only be the national express of the sky but I paid the same this year (for 2017 summer) as i did for the last 4 years to go to gran canaria. Their prices have remained pretty much the same (book early, dont care about boarding or seat booking extras and take 1 small case).

      Their flights from prestwick are on time and i expect them to be spartan. The only extra i pay is the CC charge for section 75.....

      1. Jos V

        OT: Ryanair

        Danny14, I know this is off-topic, but had to reply. You do realize that there are many twats out there that expect to be treated like royalty on a 30 minute flight, get full service and a 3 course dinner, and bring 50kg of luggage to their long-weekend stay in <insert city>, for their $30 ticket round-trip.

        Treat the damn flight as your local bus ride FFS. You expect the ticket inspector to bring your lunch when he comes to your seat?

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: OT: Ryanair

          You do realize that there are many twats out there that expect to be treated like royalty on a 30 minute flight...
          While true, and I know less than nothing about Ryanair, I do know about the Australian equivalent: Tigerline. Friends were returned to Geelong rather than Tullamarine because inconvenient. The taxi fares home and then to Tullamarine airport the following morning more than ate up any cost savings made by flying Tigerline rather than Qantas or Virgin.

          I have learnt over time to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday mid-mornings. The cost savings are not great; accommodation tends to be the biggie. Never travel on Fridays, Sundays or Mondays unless it's Christmas Day or New Year's.

        2. Steve Evans

          Re: OT: @Jos V

          Don't get me started on the twats who fly on budget airlines... I always get stuck behind the ones in knee-high lace up boots who have failed to notice everyone before them has been asked to remove footware.

          Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person with the common sense to unlace shoes whilst queuing and tuck the laces inside for a quick remove... Not to mention removing my belt and placing everything from my trouser pockets in my coat pockets, bar my phone, for a quick remove and dump into the trays.

          I'm still seeing people having litre bottles of water removed from them at security, and they're still looking perplexed (despite walking past two dozen signs whilst queuing).

          1. jeffdyer

            Re: OT: @Jos V

            Wouldn't it be great if everyone was as worldly wise and experienced at flying as you eh, Steve?

            1. Steve Evans

              Re: OT: @Jos V

              Or able to read countless signs in a language they are fluent enough to argue in 5 minutes later...

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: OT: @Jos V

              Wouldn't it be great if everyone was as worldly wise and experienced at flying as you eh, Steve?

              Or so innocent of shopping malls etc that they take time to stop and read the adverts in case there's something important/interesting.

              (Steve, that's the issue for a lot of people - we spend so long in places with excessive advertising banners/posters that signs in airports etc appear as background noise, no we do not see the signs because our culture has trained us to ignore such things!)

          2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: queue preparedness

            " I always get stuck behind the ones in knee-high lace up boots who have failed to notice everyone before them has been asked to remove footware."

            this is not the only place this happens:

            Checkout queue - some people are surprised they have to pay , or pack.

            Cash machines - some people think its ok to do a weeks banking

            Buttie shop - some people dont realise they can decide before its their turn

            Traffic lights - some people dont realise the cars behind want to get across b4 red too

            Escalators - we havent all got the time to stand around, cos we're too fat to climb

            Debit payments - If the retail establishment you are in is small , and processes card payments via 52k modem , dont pay for your 99p bottle of springwater on a card just cos you cant be arsed carrying money.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    For some reason the Reg Videos still don't ply in my Firefox, here's stuff on YouTube:

    Papatea Fault and Raised Coast - So long and thanks for all the fish!

    Farm track ruptured by fault (if a cow has the disadvantage of being on the fault line at time zero, does she get catapulted, Monty Python style?)

    House displaced by fault rupture with Will Ries doing SCIENCE!

    Drone video of the Kekerengu Fault rupture.

    Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mizsfXP_I1w RUPTLY filming from a helo (now that WaPo has declared that RUPLY is a Putin's Propaganda Outlet out to Influence American Voters, maybe one should not watch this - still, those tunnels look unsafe!)

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      They work fine on my Firefox.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      No problems in Firefox x64 on windows, or the 32 version on Mint 17.1, it's just you I'm afraid.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        No problems in Firefox x64 on windows, or the 32 version on Mint 17.1, it's just you I'm afraid.

        Not just him. Sent a link off to an older friend of mine who runs Mint 17 KDE, and he also had issues. My Mint 17 Mate was fine..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We know many of you are keenly interested in the natural world but can't tell this story any more effectively with prose."

    Definitely a case where a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

    1. Michael Thibault

      >Definitely a case where a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

      True, but also definitely a case for keeping the jetpack near to hand.

      1. oldcoder

        Better to have a hot air balloon... The jetpack won't hold you up long enough, and it is rather hard to refuel.

        1. Michael Thibault

          >Better to have a hot air balloon... The jetpack won't hold you up long enough, and it is rather hard to refuel.

          Good points, but time-to-launch is the deciding factor in an anywhere-but-here situation.

  6. scrishton

    Sandwich filler?

    I don't think those numbers can be right. 3km per second is 10800km/h. Assuming that we're accelerating from rest to 3km/s in 4m, then stopping again in another 4m giving an average speed of 1.5km/s, so 0 to 3km/s in 1/375 of a second, or 1125000m/s/s which is 114679 G. Those fish would be fish paste.

    1. MK_E

      Re: Sandwich filler?

      The shock front moved at 3km/s, not the earth.

      You don't get buildings blown over by ~770mph winds every time there's a loud noise.

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: Sandwich filler?

      I don't think the 3km/s is the rate at which the rocks move during the quake - it's the rate at which the movement of the rocks propagates along the fault line (apologies, probably not the right technical terms, but hopefully you get the idea). So the earthquake occurs now, a second later it's happening 3km away.

      The Japanese were working on a system using movement detectors in mobile phones to identify a quake happening at point A and broadcasting a warning a few seconds before it arrives (presumably 100 km or so away) at point B.

      1. anonCoward24

        Re: Sandwich filler?

        OK, that's more like sense.

        Doesn't fix that tyrannosaur, though, that one was just plain wrong

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Sandwich filler?

        The Japanese were working on a system using movement detectors in mobile phones to identify a quake happening at point A and broadcasting a warning a few seconds before it arrives (presumably 100 km or so away) at point B.

        There are two ways to do it. (1) The two types of waves generated by earthquakes -- P and S waves -- propagate at different speeds. The fast waves will arrive 150km away from the epicentre long enough before the slow but destructive shaking waves, giving long enough for nuclear reactors to SCRAM, lifts to go and sulk in the basement, etc.

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130927-earthquake-early-warning-system-earth-science/

        (2) light speed, even in copper or glass fibre, is a faster than seismic waves, as Mr Monroe observed: https://xkcd.com/723/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sandwich filler?

          a quake happening at point A and broadcasting a warning a few seconds before it arrives (presumably 100 km or so away) at point B.

          A few seconds warning. So what's the actionable message?

          "Prepare to scream theatrically if you are being filmed"

          "If your are religious, pray quickly"

          "If you are not religious, now might be the time to reconsider"

          "Gaia is angry"

          "Stitch this!

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: Sandwich filler?

            A few seconds warning. So what's the actionable message?

            I'll add the most appropriate one that dates from the cold war days. Put your head between your knees ...

            .

            .

            .

            ... and kiss your as..backside goodbye

    3. scrishton

      Re: Sandwich filler?

      Yes, that makes sense. Thanks. A bit like electicity in a wire - the signal moves at about five nanoseconds per metre; the actual electrons move about the speed of a snail.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sandwich filler?

        So, the corrected headline would be:

        "Geo-boffins say 'quake moved New Zealand by 8m"

        Followed by a subheadline:

        "And in related news, an earthquake's S waves propagate at about 3km/second."

        1. JanCeuleers

          Re: Sandwich filler?

          The title says that NZ moved by 8m, whereas the article talks about two metres. Which is it?

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Sandwich filler?

              Rather sqrt(2^2+6^2) = 6.324...

              Anyway, very impressive images!

            2. Schultz

              2 north, 6 up. 8. ?!?

              Not according to my geometry book.

              2 m north + 6 m up = 6.3 m.

            3. hmv

              Re: Sandwich filler?

              Wouldn't 2m north and 6m up be 6.33m? Pythagoras' Theorem?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So, the corrected headline would be:

          The Reg is getting as bad as a tabloid newspaper for factually inaccurate headlines.

    4. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Sandwich filler?

      "I don't think those numbers can be right"

      Hypersonic fish is one thing but an entire house! Imagine the kinetic energy of a house. I don't think it is quite that simple. The house looks like the trick where a magician yanks the tablecloth and everything stays on the table due to inertia. Quite a big table and very impressive that the house is in pretty good shape given that the ground under most of it shuffled to the right rather quickly.

      <doffs hat to Kiwi builders>

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Sandwich filler?

        Hypersonic fish is one thing but an entire house!
        Fuck the house! I want to catch me some of them hypersonic fish!

    5. anonCoward24

      Re: Sandwich filler?

      hear, hear!

      3 Km/second just won't do for this kind of mass.

      Feels like the last scene of Jurassic Park, can't shake that size head IRL without it blowing apart. That was the only suspension-of-disbelief for me, and I felt bad afterwards. so bad I still remeber it all this many years later. oh, a headache.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I watched the videos (and others that are out there on Youtube) and after seeing them and reading the article on the Millennium Tower in San Francisco, I'm happy not to be living in San Francisco or points south.

    The author of this piece is right... words alone cannot convey what happened.

  8. Doc Ock

    A 7.8 and luckily so few causalities.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. asdf Silver badge

      yeah

      Also truly amazing to me is how few causalities Chile gets when they have megathrust 8.0+ (up to 9.5) every few decades it seems (worst of which can last 10 minutes, yikes). Then you have Haiti absolutely devastated by a much smaller 7.0 on a strike slip fault. Geography and standard of living (especially strength of rule of law in enforcing building codes) matter a whole lot I am guessing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: yeah

        "they have megathrust 8.0+ (up to 9.5) every few decades it seems (worst of which can last 10 minutes, yikes)"

        Yes I think I saw that one on RedTube.

        1. Radio Wales
          Coat

          Re: yeah right!

          RedTube ???

          Did you mean the Central Line?

      2. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: yeah

        So much of earthquake damage and casualties comes down to construction techniques. In Chile, they use a lot of wood-framed stucco and plaster, where the frame flexes and maybe some stucco cracks or plaster flakes off. In Haiti, the local forests have been cut down decades ago for firewood, and non-shanty buildings are made of adobe, masonry and usually-not-correctly-reinforced concrete. That stuff shakes apart pretty quickly, then collapses on everyone inside--call the rescue team and the morgue, in that order.

        New British immigrants who come to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where I am always wonder why the houses are made of wood or wood and stucco. They usually start off thinking it is because Americans like to build things cheap and/or because of a societal indifference to building centuries-old landmarks that British are used to. But Brits who have lived in California for awhile come to realize that the real reason is to prevent your home collapsing on you during quakes.

        The big danger in America is the New Madrid fault complex along the mid-Mississippi River. That last let go in the first decade of the 19th century, when very few people lived out there and those that did lived in log and wood buildings. A new quake like that one would be a true disaster, as the last I heard the area from St. Louis to Memphis is full of brick and unreinforced concrete construction and has made little progress in updating seismic building codes

  9. Scott 26
    Mushroom

    Low casualties ....

    A lot to do it was the timing: 12:02am (local).

    Woke the wife and I up, and we just thought "Another earthquake. Meh", and then it kept going and we dashed to the doorway.

    A truckie was missed post-quake and the fear was he was under a slip, turns out he was in a comms dead-spot INBETWEEN two slips....

    Worse for Wellington where I am, were the floods on the Tuesday - they shut down more of the capital's infrastructure (all roads and rail into or out of the city were unusable) than the 'quake. That said, we have a HEAP of buildings that will be now pulled down before they fall down, and some of them are relatively new (ie post-Christchurch). Questions are being asked of the engineers who signed off on them.

    I posted to FB a few days after the EQ and these types of videos and data were coming out "I hope there is an upsurge in interest in Geology as a subject/career choice."

    Some very cool (if scary) science in all this.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Low casualties ....

      "I hope there is an upsurge in interest in Geology as a subject/career choice."

      Or perhaps in rocket science; not much sense staying on a planet that doesn't care for you...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Low casualties ....

        not much sense staying on a planet that doesn't care for you...
        The Cation Exchange Capacity (a measure of soil fertility) of NZ's soils are to die for. And my very beautiful daughter lives there so it's a place very close to my heart.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Low casualties ....

          The Cation Exchange Capacity (a measure of soil fertility) of NZ's soils are to die for.

          Given the extra-dense levels of BS spouted by shon key and the rest of is cronies (ie our government), what do you expect? :)

      2. Jonathan Richards 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: Low casualties ....

        > not much sense staying on a planet that doesn't care for you...

        Well, good luck finding one that cares more!

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Low casualties ....

          Why should the Planet care for us when we so obviously don't care for it?

          Just read Six Degrees so feeling even more pessimistic.

          Everyone is switching off nuclear power when it seems that it is the only working solution.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Low casualties ....

      Worse for Wellington where I am, were the floods on the Tuesday
      You had floods on those slopes? Holy Batfish, Catman! That was one helluva lot of rain then!

    3. Oh Matron!

      Re: Low casualties ....

      "I hope there is an upsurge in interest in Geology as a subject/career choice."

      My career choice (IT) was based on the fact that Staff's Uni's Geology degree didn't have seismology / plate tectonics in it....

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Low casualties ....

        My career choice (IT) was based on the fact that Staff's Uni's Geology degree didn't have seismology / plate tectonics in it....
        Perhaps you should have gone to UTas. The geology here's great. The IT is pretty shit though...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Low casualties ....

        "My career choice (IT) was based on the fact that Staff's Uni's Geology degree didn't have seismology / plate tectonics in it...."

        That reminds me of a student (opponent) I was talking to after a county squash match some years ago.

        I asked him what he was studying and he said "Biochemistry". As a chemist myself, I thought "ah! Common interest, so possible worthwhile discussion" (students were notoriously uncommunicative whenever we played them).

        When I asked why he chose Biochemistry, he replied "the History course was full".

        I often wonder what he's doing now.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Low casualties .... who is counting?

      EQ wiped out the Statistics New Zealand data centre, completely knocking out Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch offices. No lesson learnt post-Christchurch earthquake. Makes the ABS seem IT competent in comparison.

    5. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Low casualties ....

      Next time, don't bother trying to get to the doorway: it's a myth:

      http://www.conservation.ca.gov/index/Earthquakes/Pages/qh_earthquakes_myths.aspx

      (How do I know that, here in the UK, and you don't know it in NZ?)

      Drop, get under cover, hold on. If you're in bed you're probably as safe there as anywhere (unless you are foolish enough to have nearby furniture taht could topple onto you, shelves with lots of heavy ornaments, 10 foot wide framed painting over the headboard, etc.)

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Low casualties ....

        Next time, don't bother trying to get to the doorway: it's a myth:

        (How do I know that, here in the UK, and you don't know it in NZ?)

        Er, we've had people teaching that here for as long as I can remember.

        Though in cases like my place, I don't have much choice. No furniture I can fit under (only partly due to my rather couch-based lifestyle), so only option really is to try under a doorway and hope the old house survives yet another big shake. I can't think of any one I know bar a couple of old fogies (who still have dining tables!) who actually do have stuff they could get under. Kids could get under some of the coffee tables, but every one else is SOL.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Low casualties ....

          I think if I lived there I would purchase a box for the specific purpose rather than rely on something else's secondary function.

          A strong box that can be used as a cupboard is better than the reverse.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Low casualties ....

            I think if I lived there I would purchase a box for the specific purpose rather than rely on something else's secondary function.

            A strong box that can be used as a cupboard is better than the reverse.

            Thinking much the same myself, esp given my other post..

            Though.. If I buy something that could be used to put stuff in, then next time someone's coming round for tea and I need to quickly get a ton of junk out of the way, guess where it'll go? And of course, quakes are relatively rare here (haven't felt one in almost a day!) so I'll have plenty of time to clear it out before I'll next want it, no rush...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Low casualties ....

            I think if I lived there I would purchase a box for the specific purpose rather than rely on something else's secondary function.

            The need for that comes from the fact that in many earthquake zones people try to adapt construction techniques fit for a rigid world to a wobbly one. Whilst the aethetics would need some work, a two or three storey house built out of ISO containers would probably be less vulnerable to the sort of catastrophic collapse that masonry suffers? Not that I'm recommending that as the solution, just observing that masonry is a poor solution if you expect your building to be given a good shake, and building multi-storey buildings compounds those challenges.

            And likewise, for infrastructure, isn't there a logic in accepting that if it going to be periodically broken up, then you probably should try and avoid traditional solutions like buried water pipes, wires and telecoms? In some Russian cities water and district heat pipes run above ground because if they do freeze or fracture they are accessible, whereas they're even more likely to be bust or blocked if buried (and in seasonal permafrost digging up buried assets is a big problem).

            I know the examples are not a complete solution for a whole range of reasons, but it does look (from a long way away) as though the attempt to adapt traditional construction design and build to local conditions may have been less successful than adopting completely different ideas?

    6. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Low casualties ....

      Worse for Wellington where I am,

      Sheet.. How many of us are there here? I've noticed a number of Kiwi's here, but have been wondering how many live in that lump that spoils my southern view.. Is it just me or are we kinda over-represented on El Reg?

      ...the floods on the Tuesday

      I'm in the Hutt myself. I've never seen the river so high in the time I've lived here (>20 years). It was just about up to the motorway over at Melling. I've seen Block Rd closed a few times each year but never seen it quite that high. For a true appreciation of how high above normal it gets at these times, drive along Block Road under the bridge in the days after a flood, and notice the tide mark on the bank beside you, and just how far above your car that gets...

      Questions are being asked of the engineers who signed off on them.

      Just OOI which engineers, those in the design/construction phases, or those who recently said many were safe to use only to have the owners/tenants get a second engineer in who says "RUN!"

      Was a wet and shaky few days for us. Glad you got through it OK.

  10. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    So how was New Zealand created?

    If the country is basically a mountain range created by the subduction of one plate under another tectonic plate, then 7.8 quakes are actually reasonably-sized. Expect quakes up into the 8.0 to 8.5 range--ouch.

    Has anyone looked comprehensively at the geologic history for evidence of past quakes and tsunamis?

    1. Lapun Mankimasta

      Re: So how was New Zealand created?

      "If the country is basically a mountain range created by the subduction of one plate under another tectonic plate"

      It's worse than that. To copy something from Otago Uni geology,

      http://www.otago.ac.nz/geology/research/structural-geology/alpine-fault/nz-tectonics.html

      "To the northeast of New Zealand, and underneath North Island, the Pacific Plate is moving towards, and being subducted below the Australian Plate. To the south of New Zealand, and underneath Fiordland, the two plates are also moving toward each other but here the Australian Plate is being subducted under the Pacific Plate."

      Quite a bit of torque involved, it would appear ... makes life interesting, more than a little!!!

      BTW, has anyone actually recorded the sound of an earthquake? I want to transcribe it for a percussion piece I tried writing after the Christchurch Sept 4 2010 earthquake. TIA

      1. Holtsmark

        Re: So how was New Zealand created?

        Having experienced one in Santiago (Chile), I found the sound of that particular quake to be very close to the initial scene in Independence day, where the alien spaceship passes over the moon, and trembles obliterate the Apollo 11 Footprint.

        It was not a very strong quake, and people went back to bed once the car-alarms had been had been switched off

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: So how was New Zealand created?

        BTW, has anyone actually recorded the sound of an earthquake? I want to transcribe it for a percussion piece I tried writing after the Christchurch Sept 4 2010 earthquake. TIA

        Try the GNS guys - you should be able to find someone there. Te Papa may have something as well, if not an actual sound perhaps they have a reproduction you could use. You may have someone closer to you of course, any museum or geologist.

        I may know a couple of people who can help, but they're oddly quite busy lately...

    2. PaulVD
      Mushroom

      Re: So how was New Zealand created?

      Oh yes, there is a long history of earthquakes. And don't forget the volcanoes in the North Island. The Oruanui Eruption (26,500 years ago) was the biggest eruption anywhere for the last 70,000 years. Auckland is built on a volcanic field: lots of pretty little hills, with new ones popping up every now and then. The last was about 600 years ago.

      But tsunamis seem to come most often from quakes elsewhere in the Pacific, typically Chile.

  11. Kiwi Silver badge
    Joke

    Global smarming...

    In the first video, below, we learn that the earthquake moved at 3km/second and lifted the earth by up to six metres, turning underwater reefs into new land strewn with fish out of water.

    That should screw some with the "Global warming" and sea level rises stuff.

    BTW.. I was woken that morning in the wee hours by civil defence sirens going off. Tsunami warning. The quake itself wasn't so bad where I am, and I am well enough above the coast not to have to worry. But in my nearly 50 years I've never heard them going off other than as a test. Quite scary to know that the town I've grown to love may've mostly disappeared in a few moments. I was thankful to have had room to shelter some of the evacuees, and even more thankful that their evacuation wasn't necessary.

    Thank's for the links El Reg.

  12. Kiwi Silver badge
    WTF?

    After that last vid.

    I have to re-think my dream home with a small dam quite close to the house. They're lucky that the dam in the first moments of that last video didn't rupture given how close it was to the fault!

    I'm one of the lucky ones. No damage, just some scares and some time/food lost to others who were closer to sea level. Lots around where I live have buildings that have to be demolished, some are still waiting for inspection, people can't work and government support is, well, lets just say that for many affected the devil is rubbing his hands with glee at the cruel joke that is the so-called support. Lots of uncertainty.

    Hopefully we won't have something like the 2nd Christchurch quake, which hit at about the worst time imaginable and many (most?) of those killed were because they were close to red-stickered buildings (ie "must be demolished/must not be entered") from the first quake which didn't survive the 2nd. Which is probably why we see so much with not just affected buildings being closed but also ones within the fall-zone of damaged buildings (eg the ones in Wellington).

    Does still strike me that the house I live in, which is very old and I don't consider stable, survived without any visible signs of damage, yet many not far from me are damaged beyond reasonable repair and are built to much more modern and stringent standards!

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: After that last vid.

      If your house is brick built and as you say quite old,it may be that the mortar has a low cement and higher lime content.It makes the mortar more elastic to lay the bricks with and is not as hard or strongly adhered to the bricks, the result is with settlment or in your case living in a shaky place that the build will move a little without cracking.

      Many of the old Victorian railway arches were built with guaged yellow clay bricks, the bricks were not hard engineering bricks but relativley soft, the mortar is soft enough to scrape out with a screwdriver but the whole thing can carry tons of it's own weight and that of rapidly moving trains.

      If you use high cement mortar and hard engineering bricks, they are very strong under static load but will crack under movement.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: bricks, mortar, construction

        That, and the construction itself - it's designed to bear static vertical loads, and in one direction only - downwards. The forces from an earthquake are mostly horizontal loads. (So is wind, but that's another story.)

        You can easily test this yourself. Build a jenga tower or something similar on a table. If you bang your fist hard on the table, i.e. exert a vertical force, the structure will rather jump and wobble than collapse. (Enough force will destroy anything.) If you bang against the table using the same amount of force, i.e. exert a horizontal force, the structure will collapse (or at least be seriously deformed).

  13. Gnomalarta
    Pirate

    Anchors Away!

    Reminds me of Sans Serriffe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Serriffe

    Charlie.

  14. Steve Evans

    So that's a fair bit of work for someone at Google maps to move half the country along a bit!

    1. Korev Silver badge

      On the other hand, Apple Maps now shows NZ in the correct place...

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Small pro-tip for Kiwis, in case you haven't heard this one.

    If, like my household, you have a hutch or cabinets with glassware and nice plates in it, wire that shut between parties/events. You'll save lots of keepsakes that way. I have another set of kitchen cabinets with all the expendable stuff that gets everyday use.

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