Sunday, November 13, 2016

Violent Quake NNE of Christchurch, NZ

Oh no, a very powerful earthquake hit north of Christchurch, NZ. Widely varying estimates of magnitude, from 6.6 to 7.5. It's a dangerously-shallow quake (of course - all these quakes have been). They felt it strongly up in Wellington too, and even as far north as Auckland.

I hope Andrew is OK. I hope there's no tsunami.

Most of the recent Christchurch quakes have been in an arc, like a diabolic smile, running west to SW to SE to east of town, but this quake was NNE of town, in a previously-quiet area near the Alpine Fault.

That whole elliptical chunk of land, the northern part of the Canterbury Plain, has been rotating in violent counterclockwise jerks since 2010. I knew the fault on the north side would have to break eventually.

Residents in Christchurch coastal suburbs are evacuating and moving to higher ground.

Heavy traffic volumes are coming from low-lying coastal suburbs following Civil Defence tsunami warnings.

In the CBD, hotels and occupied buildings have been evacuated.

Many people are standing around in the middle of the street, away from buildings, calling people to let them know they're fine.

Some people are venturing back inside, because nobody seems to be enforcing the evacuations.

People around city centre have been let back in to hotels.

Couples were seen hugging and calling relatives, grabbing towels for blankets.

Part of the Heritage Christchurch building on Worcester St was heard crumbling by a nearby road-worker.

Christchurch student April Clarke said she was unable to get hold of friends in Waiau, close to the quake's epicentre.

"There are six people in Waiau nobody can get hold of."

Despite calling and messaging, nobody could get hold of them, she said.

Power and phone lines were believed to be out for the small town, only a few kilometres east of earthquake's epicentre.

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