Did the earth move for you?
August 22, 2003 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Did the earth move for you as well? The biggest earthquake to hit the "Shaky Isles" since 1968 rocked the southern South Island of New Zealand earlier today, with the tremor being felt as far away as Sydney. Did you realise that recorded earthquakes are an almost daily occurrence around the world? In fact, earthquakes with a magnitude of 1 or over happen at an alarming rate. While California is often thought of as earthquake central and New Zealand carries the "Shaky Isles" crown with justification (and not a little pride), Australia is not generally considered to be a country prone to earthquakes. Surprisingly, there have been 15 earthquakes in Australia in the past month alone, ranging from 2 to 6 in intensity.
posted by dg (5 comments total)
california ... earthquake central. pah. chile's where it's at. eat dust, gringos.

there's a timeline here (spanish) with piccies via the links. we've just bought a flat (one old enough to have survived the 85 quake) and are about to get earthquake insurance. there's been a lot of new building in santiago since then - with a lot of glass-fronted, tall structures. i wonder how much of that glass will come down onto the streets next time...

personally i've only experienced "temblores" (4 or 5 ish) - nothing higher, so far (first time i felt one, i was surprised how "smooth" it was - i was expecting something more abrupt and jerky). were you in new zealand, dg? how was it for you?
posted by andrew cooke at 9:09 AM on August 22, 2003

There's nothing at all alarming about the constant magnitude 1-3 quakes. I'd be more worried about an imminent disaster-scale quake if they suddenly stopped. You really can't feel quakes that small anyway.

The magnitude-6.8 Seattle 2001 quake was fun! It was a side-to-side motion quake, which is not nearly as destructive as an up-and-down motion quake.
posted by ukamikanasi at 12:26 PM on August 22, 2003

I was in LA for Northridge. Scared the bejesus outta me; woke me up at 4am or whatever, and shook hard enough that I actually got out of bed and into a door frame. I grew up in San Diego, so I've had plenty o' quakes in my time, but that was the first that had me worried in the slightest. I was living up on a hill with a view of the whole LA basin at the time; the transformers blowing lit up the night sky with blue flashes, like some kind of insane lightning. A wild experience.

Irony: I'm in the process of moving from CA to NZ. Guess I just can't get enough of those quakes.
posted by ehintz at 2:47 PM on August 22, 2003

Info. on the Te Anau 'quake from Geonet. Also, recent NZ quakes.

Felt from 1330 kilometres away? Sydneysiders must be really keen for a slice of the action. Meanwhile, no-one in NZ was claiming to have felt it outside the southern South Island...
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:03 PM on August 22, 2003

Surprisingly, there have been 15 earthquakes in Australia in the past month alone, ranging from 2 to 6 in intensity.

According to here there were 20 in NZ alone on that day
posted by Nauip at 5:21 PM on August 25, 2003

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