The National Earthquake Monitoring Center GeoNet said on Wednesday that it detected a total of 922 earthquakes near the town of Kauru in the center of the North Island between Saturday and 9 am. The largest earthquake had a magnitude of 4.8.
According to the center, although the series of earthquakes seemed to be passing, it was still too early for those living in the area to breathe a sigh of relief.
We expect the frequency of earthquakes to decrease in general, but we can’t know for sure
said seismologist John Restaw.
Rockslides and landslides devastate the area
The center employee indicated that his area was shaken by “seismic swarms” similar to the current ones in 2018 and 2019, but earthquakes of magnitude 4 with such quantities have so far occurred relatively rarely. Center experts attribute the series of tremors to the movement of the earth’s crust along active fault lines, which cannot be linked to volcanic or geothermal activity.
Some footpaths have been closed due to falling rocks and landslides in the affected area, with little damage reported so far in residential buildings, said Failene Tonoy, district mayor of Kaururao. The head of the settlement also drew the attention of residents to the fact that tremors may continue.
New Zealand, with a population of five million, lies on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a seismic fault line where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are frequent.
In 2011, a violent earthquake struck Christchurch in the South Island. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake claimed 185 lives and destroyed most of the downtown area.
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