New Zealand’s South Island was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. Initially, a power of 5.7 was discussed, but was later revised upwards. The earthquake occurred near the town of Methven, west of Christchurch, at a depth of 11 km. This is the strongest earthquake in New Zealand this year.
There are no reports of damage or casualties yet, but New Zealand media reports of a major earthquake almost immediately generated more than 10,000 reports from stunned South Island residents. The earthquake was also felt by residents of the North Island.
This is the first major earthquake felt in a long time in the Canterbury region, which was hit by strong tremors several times in 2010 and 2011. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 185 people there at the end of February 2011. The damage was massive, including in Christchurch. Earlier this year, Canterbury was twice hit by earthquakes measuring 4.4 and 4.7.
Ring of fire
Residents of the affected area speak to New Zealand media about a “rolling” earthquake. Some say their house shook for a long time, while others compare the feeling to the vibration caused by a low-flying fighter jet.
New Zealand is regularly exposed to earthquakes. This has to do with the country’s location in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand is located on the so-called Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates come together and cause earthquakes.
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