Strong­est quake yet hits in Tu­rangi swarm

The Dominion Post - - News - GED CANN

The earth­quake swarm hit­ting Tu­rangi de­liv­ered its big­gest shock yet yes­ter­day, with a mag­ni­tude 4.5 shake felt all over the North Is­land.

The jolt was fol­lowed in quick suc­ces­sion by two smaller quakes, but GNS vul­ca­nol­o­gist Natalia Deligne said there was no cause for con­cern, as long as the earth­quakes’ lo­ca­tion did not move to­wards a vol­canic area.

‘‘It’s an area that re­ceives quite a few swarms. This swarm has been go­ing on for a few weeks, and this one was cer­tainly the largest in the se­quence, so far,’’ she said.

‘‘In this area, there has been five earth­quakes since 2009 that were above a mag­ni­tude 4, so this is high for the area.’’

Deligne said the largest quakes in a swarm could come at any point.

GeoNet has been track­ing the ‘‘earth­quake swarm’’ af­fect­ing the North Is­land town­ship of Tu­rangi since Fe­bru­ary 13, al­though Deligne said this du­ra­tion was not un­usu­ally long.

Yes­ter­day’s quake hap­pened just be­fore 1pm. It was sited 10 kilo­me­tres north-west of Tu­rangi at a depth of 5km.

Re­ports of the shak­ing to GeoNet came in from across the North Is­land, with scat­tered ac­counts from the South Is­land as well.

GNS vul­ca­nol­o­gist Brad Scott said the swarm had been quiet for 10 days be­fore it picked up yes­ter­day.

‘‘We’ve had swarms that have gone on for years in the worst cases. This is nor­mal, run-of-the-mill. It is also well out­side the ac­tive vol­cano ar­eas. It’s prob­a­bly 30km away from any vol­cano.’’

Ac­cord­ing to GNS, more than 800 quakes had hit the area, with yes­ter­day’s shake be­ing the lat­est in a stream of shocks.

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