Seismic Event – Strong M7.8 earthquake/aftershocks: New Zealand
The event occurred near Amberley, South Island, New Zealand.
Area affected by Widespread Moderate to Significant damage (estimated radius): 129 km (MMI VIII).
USGS Estimated Population Exposure to Earthquake Shaking
Tsunami Statement Issued
216 km SW of Wellington, New Zealand / pop: 382,000 / local time: 00:02:58.3 2016-11-14
97 km N of Christchurch, New Zealand / pop: 364,000 / local time: 00:02:58.3 2016-11-14
56 km N of Amberley, New Zealand / pop: 1,200 / local time: 00:02:58.3 2016-11-14
Media Analysis/Situation Reports
Nearly 400 aftershocks have struck New Zealand since this morning’s 7.5 magnitude quake hit near Hanmer Springs at 12.02am. By 2.10pm, 382 aftershocks had struck the region. Of those, 216 were more than magnitude 4?. Rumblings continue by the minute. The 15-metre deep quake, which stuck 20km southeast of Hanmer Springs, was more powerful than two shakes which devastated Canterbury in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 quake which hit Christchurch was 7.1 on the Richter scale while the 2011 quake was 6.3 on the Richter scale. Two people have died as a result of today’s quake. One man died in Kaikoura when the historic Elms Homestead collapsed. And a Mt Lyford woman reportedly died from a medical event while she was evacuating her home. A local state of emergency has been declared in Kaikoura and Hurunui. However, the tsunami warning that was in place for Wellington to Banks Peninsula has been cancelled by Civil Defence. “Based on all available data, the tsunami threat has now passed.” But Civil Defence warns that coasts may experience unusual, strong currents and sea level fluctuations for several more hours. “Please stay aware in and around coastal waters.” Power is gradually being restored in Kaikoura, but sewerage systems and water supplies are still down. Large slips are blocking the only access roads to the town on the South Island’s East Coast. State Highway 1, from Picton to Blenheim and Seddon is now open but Seddon to Cheviot remains closed. The road from Cheviot to Christchurch is open. The Fire Service Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team with two dogs from deployed Christchurch this morning has arrived in Kaikoura. The self-sufficient team is carrying out building assessments in support of local authorities. Another USAR team of 20 is on standby in Christchurch. Rescuers have pulled two survivors from a flattened home destroyed by the 7.5-magnitude quake overnight. One person is reported to have been died at the Elms homestead near Kaikoura Airport as the buildings crumbled around them. Stuff.co.nz is reporting the two buildings on the property have been reduced to piles of rubble, barely resembling the two structures that stood there up until Sunday night. Kaikoura Health’s Chris Henry was among those first on the scene. He said the house “just collapsed like a stack of cards”. The three inside were “pretty well trapped” and rescuers needed a digger to reach them. Two of those were pulled from the wreckage alive, with the help of the NZ Fire Service. “The first lady actually got out pretty easily and the second lady was trapped for a while,” he said. Details of the third person who died inside the homestead are yet to be released. At least two others are confirmed dead in the aftermath of the shocks.
Tsunami wave has been observed following the M7.8 earthquake in Wellington, New Zealand on 13th November, 2016 at 12:32 (UTC). The observed tsunami wave height was 0.43 meters (1.4 feet). Other information not available yet.
It’s not long after dawn in New Zealand, and authorities are assessing damage from the overnight earthquake and scores of strong aftershocks. Here are some images of the damage. We’ll be adding to this gallery throughout the day. A common theme in supermarkets right down the east coast of New Zealand this morning. More pictures coming in of the damage cause by the quake overnight. This one from central Wellington. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says two people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of the earthquake. He said it was not yet clear if they were as a direct result of the tremor (one early report suggested at least one person had suffered a heart attack during the quake and was not able to get help). There were also earlier reports of a person missing beneath in rubble in Kaikoura. Radio New Zealand is reporting that Wellington Civil Defence has advised against people travelling into the central city and Lower Hutt areas for work. All trains have been cancelled until further notice and no replacement bus services will be operating. Our colleagues across at Fairfax Media’s stuff.co.nz are reporting that emergency crews are searching through the rubble of a homestead in Kaikoura, 180 kilometres north-east of Christchurch, for a missing person. Another person was found alive earlier in the morning following the quake.
People near the coastal areas were urged to ‘Move to higher ground’ and emergency services lines were down. Widespread death and destruction feared. An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 has struck near Christchurch, New Zealand, triggering a tsunami warning. People living along the entire east coast have been warned to ‘move to higher ground’ – with a Tsunami wave of up to 2m in height feared. The quake struck in the early hours of Monday morning in Christchurch which was reduced to rubble by an earthquake just five years ago. The tsunami threat is for the east coast of all New Zealand including Christchurch, Wellington and the Chatham islands. The earthquake could be felt more than 1,100 miles away, with potential for damage inside a near 100-mile radius. Geoscience Aust show the 7.4 mag earthquake in Sth Island New Zealand could be felt over 1,800km away, damage for 148km radius British chef Tim Owen, who is in Halswell, a satellite town of Christchurch, told Mirror Online: “We live about 25 minutes from the beach, it’s not too far. The thought of a tsunami is always scary. “I have some friends that live right on the beach so have contacted them.” The 29-year-old from Maidenhead, Berkshire, added: “The earthquake went on for like a minute or so, which is quite long. It felt like swaying and like a wave. “We just got up from the couch and stood in the doorway. It does make you feel very anxious not knowing if it will get worse or when it may stop. The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency management tweeted: “Situation has changed – tsunami is possible. “People near the coast in the south island should move to high ground or inland.” Today’s earthquake measured more powerfully on the Richter scale than 2011’s 6.3 quake. Power lines and phone lines are said to be down, including emergency lines to police, fire and ambulance services. Others reported that the emergency number 111 was back up and running. Anthropology student Heather McMillan said her home shook “like jelly” when the earthquake struck as she was getting ready for bed, and she feared it was going to collapse. The 20-year-old told Mirror Online: “When it started it was really big so I thought it was going to be short but it kept going for a good few minutes and felt like the second floor was going to fall down. “Very quickly you realise it’s an earthquake because I’ve felt one before. “But this was a different level. I honestly thought it was going to last for 20 minutes or longer. “I live in the second storey of a flat and it was like a rolling feeling from the house. The aftershocks have felt like we’re a ship at sea. “She said the tremor lasted around five minutes but it felt like forever”.
She added: “I think it’s one of those moments when you start thinking whether this is it? Like the big earthquake that’s going to put Christchurch back into the place it was five years ago?” Heather said her flat did not suffer any damage, but her parents in Wellington were without power and had some belongings damaged as the earthquake shook their home. Patsy Knight told Mirror Online that aftershocks were still continuing 20 minutes after the quake. She said: “We’re in Wellington and absolutely terrifying. Smashed glass everywhere, but thankfully all good. Not much sleep happening though, kids with us. Aftershocks continuously happening!” The earthquake was felt as far away as Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Hamilton. In Hamilton, Wayne Timmo woke to the kitchen blinds banging against the window and said the quake felt like a “long slow, rolling or almost rotating motion”. He told Stuff.co.NZ: “The water in the neighbour’s swimming pool was left sloshing around for about a minute and people woken by the quake came out onto the street to talk about it. “The cat has disappeared and the neighbours dog is upset.” In Nelson, resident Jo Davis grabbed her children and sheltered in a doorway as the quake seemed to “go on forever”. She said it had a much longer, more rolling motion than a 2010 Canterbury quake she experienced. Davis said she was surprised there appeared to be no damage to the house. “It really shook for a long time.” Others took to social media to show pictures and videos of their devastated homes. Alysa Jane tweeted: “6.something magnitude earthquake did it’s damage I’m on the 7th floor! I’m rekt!” Kavithya wrote: “That was a huge earthquake. Got evacuated out of our apartment building. Hope everyone affected by it are safe!” Cynthia Drescher, from Christchurch, said the earthquake lasted for three to four minutes. She said she was evacuated to a building rebuilt after it was destroyed in the 2011 quake. Cynthia described aftershocks she felt as “freaky”. Well-wishers from around the world sent their best wishes to the stricken country which has been devastated by earthquakes over the years. Arnoud Beckers, from Holland, wrote: “Hope everybody is safe in the beautiful city of Christchurch. Again hit by a huge quake.” Islanders could face aftershocks which often follow the main quake. They can cause further building damage and falling debris. A Christchurch Police spokeswoman told Stuff.co.NZ they hadn’t received any calls about damage. “Just be careful on the roads in case there’s damage,” she said. St John Ambulance says they have no reports of injuries from the quake. “We are monitoring the situation but at this stage we have not activated our emergency operations centre (EOC)”, they said. “We encourage everyone to check on their neighbours, family and friends, especially those who live alone or are frail.” “It is also important to have your emergency kit, torch and other emergency supplies ready.”