New Zealand is like Japan in so many ways. The characters that make up Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”, which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the “Land of the Rising Sun”. It is surrounded by seas and oceans and is subject to persistent seismic activity that has had devastating effects on the population.
The Maori name for New Zealand “Aotearoa” means “Land of the Long White Cloud”. It too is surround by seas and Oceans and is subject to persistent seismic activity that has had devastating effects on the population.
Japan’s earthquake threat to its population is significant as can be seen by the numbers below;
Area Year Deaths Fault Magnitude
Ansei Edo 1855 6,641 Edo 6.9 –
Kumamoto 1889 20 Humamoro 6.3
Kanto 1923 142,800 Izu Oshima 8.3
Kita Tango 1927 3,020 Tango Pen 7.6
North Izu 1930 272 Izu Pen 7.3
Sanriku 1933 3,000+ Kamaishi 8.4
Miyagi 1978 28 Miyagi 7.7
Izu Islands 2009 0 Off shore 6.9-7.1
Ryukyu Is 2010 1 Off shore 7.0
Tohoku 2011 0 Offshore 7.2
Tohoku 2011 15,833 Offshore 9.0
There have been many more earthquakes in Japan than noted above, but it is interesting to note that when New Zealand seems to have a quake that has caused some damage or population awareness, Japan has either had one serious earthquake, or has one in the next few months in the same year.
The big difference seems to be loss of life because of course most of New Zealand is sparsely populated and many large earthquakes that have occurred in New Zealand have never had a major human cost with the exceptions being the Napier Earthquake of 1931, and the Christchurch quake of February 22 2011.
New Zealands notable quakes have been;
Area Year Deaths Fault Magnitude
Wellington 1855 0 Wairarapa 8.3
North Canterbury 1888 0 Hope 7.3
Buller 1929 0 Whitecreek 7.8
Hawkes Bay 1931 0 Aus plate, 7.8
Edgecumbe 1987 0 Edgecumbe 6.3
Fiordland 2009 0 Aus plate, 7.8
Darfield 2010 0 Greendale 7.1
Christchurch 2011 181 Banks Peninsula 6.3
It is alleged that the 2011 quake came from an unknown fault line. What a load of bullshit as LF is aware that Christchurch schools ran earthquake emergency drills at all schools inclusive of Burnside High where New Zealand scumbag Prime Minister John Key did his time.
The Canterbury Trust Bank Building was built on special rubber pads to absorb the effects of a major earthquake “rolling” through the broken stone water riddled under layer that was the swamp that Christchurch was built on.
But Wellington is a different story. It is a place that all of the experts say is a catastrophe waiting to happen. In the 1855 Wellington earthquake casualties were kept to “several” because the buildings were built of wood given the rebuild following the earlier 1948 earthquake.
The Wairarapa earthquake hit on 23 January 1855 at 9 p.m. Wellington, close to the epicenter, shook for a minute. The 8.3 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful recorded in New Zealand [since systematic European colonisation began in 1840], would have delivered a national disaster if it occurred tomorrow.
The earthquake was the largest observed movement on a strike-slip fault, maximum 18 metres. To understand the significance of these numbers, if your 4 story unit was say 12 metres above sea level – boom blam earthquake strikes – you are suddenly 30 metres above sea level.
Of course no building could survive such a hit. More than 100,000 fatalities could be sealed in an instant of plate movement. Kids killed in their day care centres or at school. Wives and young children crushed at the Mall. Dads, Uncles and brothers obliterated in a manner similar to those that were murdered at the Pike River Mine.
New Zealand lies along the boundary between the Australian and Pacific Plates. In the South Island most of the relative displacement between these plates is taken up along a single dextral (right lateral) strike-slip fault with a major reverse component, the Alpine Fault.
The Southern Alps was formed by catastrophic violence incomprehensible to human ability to create such forces even with hydrogen bombs, and yet the idiots in government are saying don’t panic.
In the North Island the displacement is mainly taken up along the Kermadec subduction zone, although the remaining dextral strike-slip component of the relative plate motion is accommodated by the North Island Fault System (NIFS).
A group of dextral strike-slip structures, known as the Marlborough Fault System, transfer displacement between the mainly transform and convergent type plate boundaries in a complex zone at the northern end of the South Island. The earthquake occurred on the Wairarapa Fault which is part of the NIFS.
The 1855 earthquake ruptured approximately 150 km of the Wairarapa Fault. To understand how big this was – if it occurred today Wellington as we know it would be obliterated. Lets look at the facts.
A horizontal displacement of up to 18 metres was accompanied by uplift and tilting of the Rimutaka Range on the northwestern side of the fault with vertical offsets of about 6 metres near the fault reducing to almost nothing on the western coast of the Wellington Peninsula.
The estimated magnitude of about 8.3 is unusually large for an earthquake associated with movement on a mainly strike-slip fault, and the coseismic offset would have been the largest known for such an event. Largest known to mankind –keep calm and don’t panic- fuck off Key!!!
It has been suggested that this was caused by the rupture propagating down to where the fault links through to the top of the subducting Pacific Plate. Geomorphological evidence, particularly the uplifted beach ridges observed at Turakirae Head, appear to record three previous coseismic uplifts of the Rimutaka Range caused by earthquakes similar in magnitude to the 1855 event, with a recurrence interval of about 2200 years. To put those numbers in doubt one must consider the 1848 Wellington earthquake as being a possible foreshock of what was to come in 1855.
Wellington experienced severe shaking but the resulting damage was reduced as the city had been extensively rebuilt following the 1848 Marlborough earthquake using mainly wooden structures; only one person was known to have died. In the surrounding countryside at least another four people (possibly as many as eight) were reported to have died during the earthquake.
The uplift of the northwestern side of Wellington Bay rendered many of the jetties in the harbour unusable, although this new area of land provided an excellent new rail and road route to the north
The 1855 quake generated New Zealand’s largest historical locally-generated tsunami. New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research created an animated tsunami simulation model based on the 1855 Wairarapa event, which was screened on the television tele-drama “Aftershock”.
Maybe in the next few months TVNZ may be reporting live from the surviving hills above what was once know as Wellington. Can you imagine the immediate hit on the NZD – great for farmers – those fiscal top feeders. The dollar at 30 cents US – no meat or veges for the locals. And John Key would be buying shares in all of the companies best set to make the most of New Zealanders misery.
Wellington Harbour after the 9.0 magnitude shock
Not possible – really – it is only a matter of time
What can happen in Japan can happen here: – tomorrow. The 2011 foreshock in Japan took no lives – the earthquake took over 15,000 lives. Come on residents of Wellington – look at the chances and who is telling you not to worry. When it comes lets hope that Key is killed. Karma after all is all powerful.
As for those that want to leave you should make it quick;
- Workers told to stay away from Wellington CBD after earthquake (abc.net.au)
- Earthquake rattles New Zealand capital (guardian.co.uk)
- Magnitude 6.9 Quake Strikes off New Zealand Coast (abcnews.go.com)
- 6.9 magnitude earthquake rattles New Zealand (foxnews.com)