Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind



First a minute long 7.2 shake just at 2:27 AM this morning. I didn’t bother getting out of bed as it was more of a rolling motion than sharp jolts. New Zealand homes are designed to remain mostly intact during earthquakes. They may may not be habitable afterwards, but their structure does minimise serious injury and death. This particular quake knocked a few items of shelves but nothing was broken.

A few hours later another 7.4 earthquake struck around 900 Km offshore, and in the last hour an 8.1 earthquake struck just of the east coast of the North Island. The third tsunami warning of the day has been issued and evacuation orders have been made for some areas.

And of course so many are evacuating by vehicle causing massive traffic jams, whereas official advice it to walk, run or cycle where possible to avoid congestion. Why are so many people such idiots?

There have also been a number of less intense earthquakes of 5.0 or greater during this morning. Of course the big question in these earthquake swarms is has the biggest shake occurred? Typically the first shake is the largest, but today the strongest was shake was some seven hours after the first. This may even be the first stage of a long lasing swarm. We experienced such a swarm many years ago when we lived in Whanganui. The swarm lasted for around a month and with dozens of shakes, some of which made walking virtually impossible and it was necessary to crawl to cover.

I’ve experienced so many earthquakes during my seventy plus years that I’m rather blasé about them. Having said that, I rather enjoy the ride provided by long or severe shakes – a kind of adrenalin rush. We’ve experienced relatively little damage over the years. Only crockery and ornaments falling of shelves and cracks appearing in our home and in paths around it.

Living in a volcanic, seismically active region, most of us accept the risks of living here. There are a number of regular re-occurring earthquakes that have been documented. Perhaps the most threatening is the Alpine fault that stretches along almost the entire length of the South Island and fractures every 300 to 350 years. The last fracture occurred a little over 350 years ago so it’s not so much a matter of “if” but “when”. Quite likely within my lifetime.

For the moment we have the task of letting friends and family living overseas that we are safe and sound.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

11 thoughts on “Earthquakes!

  1. You ask why are so many such idiots? Well they think if they evacuate by car, they can carry a few supplies and possibly evacuate faster than on a bike or on foot.
    Good to know you and yours are OK. I only knew of the earthquake in your hood because Brian mentioned it.

    • I think Rūaumoko (god of earthquakes, volcanoes and seasons.) has been working overtime. What with creating 7.1, 7.3, 8.0, & 8.1 earthquakes plus several more between 5.0 and 5.4 in less than 12 hours would I think take a toll on any god. Hopefully he will take a very long time to recover.

      • Even for a god, that’s quite some work, unless they are the type that says let there be an earthquake and there was an one, let there be another and another, then they rested after the last earthquake

        • As best as I understand, our local gods don’t claim omni anything.

          I recall a few years ago my granddaughter (about 9 at the time) made the comment that if she were to believe in gods, the Māori gods made more sense than the Christian god, because a god that responsible for everything probably wouldn’t be very good at anything. I think she has a point.

  2. By living my life on the US east coast, I’ve experienced almost nothing in the way of earthquakes. I think that’s OK with me. The OCD in me likes being in control and I can’t imagine a situation where you have less control. Glad you didn’t get whacked by a Tsunami. I read yesterday that Iceland has had 17,000 earthquakes in the last week. Sobering.

    • According to, the count for earthquakes of M1.5 or greater in Iceland is 8 in the last week and 45 in the last year, whereas NZ has had 16 and 109 respectively. But on the other hand Iceland is a much smaller land mass, so any shake is likely to be felt over a wider proportion of the land.

      Those 17,000 are really just minor tremors and are not that unusual around an eruption or earthquake event. Probably 99.9% couldn’t be felt at all.

  3. So pleased you are ok. We have heard nothing about this. Nothing on the news at all.

  4. Perhaps the UK has more important things to think about…

    Such a Boris, Brexit and Covid

  5. I am glad you are OK, and hope your house remains habitable(!)

    • No damage to the house or land. O few items fell of shelves – our fault for no securing them – but nothing broken.

      As a aside, most Kiwis are conscious that any items that are valued should be securely held in place to ensure they are not damaged or cause harm during an earthquake, but being human, we tend to become blasé after a while, and it’s not until after another big shake that we review our natural disaster preparedness.

      Regretfully, this also applies to being mindful that earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes and severe weather can affect our very existence and we need to ensure our families can survive for a week or more without outside assistance.

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