A 7.0 quake

July 3rd, 2012 at 11:09 pm by David Farrar

This is the first time that I’ve actually freaked out over an . Being on the 10th floor, I felt it badly. Made it down 10 flights of steps in around 40 seconds. The first shake had me at my door frame. Then there was a pause and I had a gut feeling it may shake again so headed for the stairs. Just as I got there, then an even bigger shake and decided it was safer to get out, than head back in.

Hope those near Opunake are fine. Thank goodness it was 250 km deep. A shallow quake could have been very nasty.

One upside. I discovered an earthquake is a very good cure for the flu. My aching muscles and lethargy disappeared instantly as I fled the building!

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40 Responses to “A 7.0 quake”

  1. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    it wasn’t as bad as that in seatoun, geonet have it as a 7, but it felt like a 5 to me. though long.

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  2. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    Isn’t it very close to a full moon tonight and a very high/low tide..??

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  3. bc (1,353 comments) says:

    I’m in New Plymouth. I was asleep when it happened and it woke me up so it must have been pretty strong!
    Woke up to a rolling feeling, by the time I worked out what was happening it was subsiding. Very unnerving though – wide awake now!

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  4. snowy (107 comments) says:

    Biggest earthquake I’ve ever experienced – born and bred wellingtonian.

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  5. Lindsay Addie (1,180 comments) says:

    Just had another one here in Chch, not very big at 3.8.

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  6. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    The intensity of it really waxed and waned a few times, and it gave plenty of time to think “Oh shit I hope this isn’t THE BIG ONE…”

    I wonder if Chch peeps would have even rolled over in bed for one like this?

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  7. Lindsay Addie (1,180 comments) says:

    RRM,

    Just shook my monitor a bit, didn’t really notice it apart from that.

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  8. noskire (835 comments) says:

    Felt like a Pegasus or Darfield mag 4.0 here in Cashmere, Christchurch – a slow, gentle roll. Cat never even blinked. Never felt the following local 3.8. Feck, at a depth of 250 odd kilometers, I’d hate to imagine what damage a depth of 50-100km would cause at that focal point.

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  9. Rufus (647 comments) says:

    meh… try that day in day out for over a year….
    :)

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  10. Spam (597 comments) says:

    Must have been the fault of those fracking frackers!

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  11. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    *sings “Welcome to our world”

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  12. Mark (1,431 comments) says:

    long duration this one

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  13. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    I live in a house in Wellington, 100% on poles and set into very solid rock. We swayed gently like the night’s last slow dance. The lateral movement is no problem, but a serious vertical session (ie with the epicentre directly below) would be a killer: House goes one way while the poles and foundations come apart and go in the other direction. It’s a long way down!

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  14. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    KK – nothing like living on a flat section. Only1 meter to fall from my foundations.

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  15. HB (298 comments) says:

    some people are reporting damage
    http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/quakes/3732830g-shaking.html

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  16. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Lazybum – you won’t fall… more your house will slide into the oooze just before a tsunami hits :)

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  17. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    I live on a section of inner-Wellington SH1. The roads people are supposed to be resurfacing the highway overnight this week. At first the shaking was gentle but kept on for a long time. I wondered if maybe they were ripping up the road surface or something. Then it just sort of exploded and everything in my apartment was shaking. That might have been a minute worth of shaking in total?

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  18. Lindsay Addie (1,180 comments) says:

    Mother Nature isn’t choosy about where a house is situated, flat land or hilly. If she wants to shake the shit out of something she just gets on with it.

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  19. Shunda barunda (2,966 comments) says:

    The difference in intensity towards the end of the shake is due to the difference in arrival time of the “P” and “S” waves. The P wave arrives first and is faster and more gentle, then the S wave which is slower and bigger in amplitude (shakes more).

    The further you are away from the shake, the more pronounced the wave separation is. Down here on the West Coast the earthquake lasted for a long time and the wave separation was very pronounced. Because of the depth of the shake everyone would have felt the wave separation which gives the impression of two earthquakes or a sudden intensification of shaking.

    A good reminder that Christchurch was not an isolated event and we should continue earthquake strengthening in other areas.

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  20. Than (440 comments) says:

    My experience was similar to noskire’s – I was in Sydenham, Christchurch and it only felt like a modest shake, maybe 4.0 – 4.4. I was surprised to see people online (Facebook friends in Nelson and Wellington) noticing it at all.

    Thankfully there don’t seem to be any reports of casualties or major damage.

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  21. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    wonder if ken ring predicted this sucker….

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  22. Tookinator (216 comments) says:

    Apparently using a door frame is no use these days. It used to be good when there was a concrete lintel there but nowadays it’s just wood framing like the rest of a house so no stronger. Best to get down next to a heavy appliance such as cooker or sofa (But not underneath) so that you are protected in the void space

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  23. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Greens call for inquiry into earthquake and demand a stop to oil industry in Taranaki. Just wait.

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  24. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    @Expat – ha ha. Good one. They will be blaming fracking any minute now.

    I live in Mangamahu – 40 km from Wanganui and it was pretty bad here. Waiting for daylight to check if there is any damage. I watched our front verandah which is a concrete pad, oscillate up and down. The big trees around us were rocking. Interestingly enough, the dogs started barking after the quake started – so much for animals sensing these things:)

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  25. Keeping Stock (10,177 comments) says:

    Similar experience to Brian; was not long asleep but was woken pretty quickly. After about 20 seconds of mild shaking it not pretty wild for 10 seconds or so, and noisy as well.

    Oddly, I wasn’t the only one who got up and went straight to the computer to see what was being said on Twitter, which seems to be the medium of choice for instantaneous communications these days.

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  26. rouppe (942 comments) says:

    Maybe being in an apartment made it worse…

    I’d just gone to bed and couldn’t be bothered getting out of it. The earthquake went on a bit but it wasn’t a massive jolt

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  27. Nigel (515 comments) says:

    Got a mate who is leading alot of the demolition in Christchurch, the theory of under a table in a door frame is totally bogus, low beside something solid ( photo copiers are the best, paper doesn’t compress to well, beside the lift well is also very good ), triangle of life.
    Hope everyone is well around Opunake.

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  28. stu-tron (43 comments) says:

    I love the Tron. We may have the clap but we don’t have earthquakes.

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  29. PaulD (97 comments) says:

    I don’t think crushed by the photocopier or caught in a collapsing stairwell are the recommended options.

    “Critics have argued that it is actually very difficult to know where these triangles will be formed, as objects (including large, heavy objects) often move around during earthquakes. It is also argued that this movement means that lying beside heavy objects is very dangerous”

    and http://www.earthquakecountry.info/dropcoverholdon/Petal_Rejoinder_to_Copp_0906.pdf

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  30. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    Tookinator – good intentions, but the “triangle of life” idea is widely discredited. It’s safer to have something acting as armour over your head than beside it.

    Some more links about it:
    http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/memwebsite.nsf/Files/earthquake_safety_advice/$file/drop-cover-hold-advice.pdf

    http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/triangle.asp covers it really well.

    Or you can just picture a person crouching beside a bed, underneath the heavy beam that didn’t have the foresight to fall at 90 degrees to the bed, but thoughtlessly just alongside it.

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  31. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    David felt it more strongly on the 10th floor for the simple reason that the building has a natural frequency* that is coincident with the earthquakes low frequency shaking. This means the building would amplify the signal. The low frequencies travel further and don’t dissipate as rapidly, so the quake signal was still rich in these frequencies. People is short squat buildings would have felt the quake without any building amplification effects. Strong high frequency shaking like CHCH folk experienced from nearby earthquakes is quite different, and much more damaging to short squat structures.

    *Every object with mass and stiffness has it’s own natural frequency.

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  32. Nigel (515 comments) says:

    To be honest when someone explains to you how many of his people are on stress leave from having to cleanup the results of people who followed the recommended options & how after 12 months cleaning up in Chch they have seen the triangles as the only safe places to be I know where I’ll be going, but each to their own.

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  33. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    Call your patent attorney David you have discovered a cure for “man flu”

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  34. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in Auckland we just say no to that shit…..man up the rest of you. :-p

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  35. iMP (2,344 comments) says:

    Earthquakes come in quite different types. It’s not the “falling down” that is usually the prob (except in the rare case of CTV) but the “shattering around”. Houses lean over, crack and crumble, but rarely topple, they are basically cubes. Taranaki was a rolling wave earthquake. The 8.2 in Chch 22/2 was an up down side to side jolting fist punch, totally different and more devastating. This action literally tore gib off our walls and lifted the walls from the floors so that things went in between (like power extension cords) to be trapped like sandwich meat.

    The best place to ‘drop and roll’ (if you can) is between your wall and bed, preferably away from the window (if you can).

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  36. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    mavxp (363) Says:
    *Every object with mass and stiffness has it’s own natural frequency.

    That’s what she said.

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  37. Mobile Michael (432 comments) says:

    When Gareth Hughes calls for a fracking ban, remind him that oil wells are a few kilometres deep (at most) where this earthquake was over 200km deep. Like most quakes, much deeper than oil/gas extraction.

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  38. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Geonet is reporting the quake as 7.0 but USGS says 6.2

    Can anyone give an indication as to which is more likely to be accurate?

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  39. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    David, I hope you are feeling better today. My husband’s battling the flu as well. Doesn’t seem to be cured after the earthquake, though.

    Our experience wasn’t as bad as yours, though we were closer to the epicentre here Kapit. The house cracked like mad, the cats freaked out and hid, one with her tail all puffed up, and my youngest couldn’t sleep until after midnight. Don’t know about the oldest, he went on a ski trip yesterday and would have been ever closer to it all.

    My youngest’s friend slept through it all, the only sign that there had been an earthquake was everything in his bookshelves and on his dresser was on the ground when he woke up this morning.

    [DPF: Sadly my flu was not cured, just shall we say downgraded in priority last night :-)]

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  40. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    Gods wrath on Catholics. Lucia.

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