Two powerful earthquakes have occurred in New Zealand PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 June 2011 10:24


According to the USGS, two earthquakes have occurred on June 13, 2011 near the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.

The first earthquake of magnitude 5.2 occurred at 01.00 UTC, and at 02.20 UTC there was a second earthquake of magnitude 6.0. Currently, reports about the destruction of several buildings and about 10 injured.

At this time in Christchurch, with a population of about 360 thoUSAnd people, not running the airport and many shops are closed. The City of Christchurch has focused its efforts on preventing panic and looting, as in the city there are power outages, as well as expected new earthquakes, the possibility that in the near future said the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence, based on experience from previous earthquakes in this region of New Zealand. Since the incident on Feb. 22, 2011 in Christchurch devastating earthquake of magnitude 6.3 was a consequence of the continuing aftershocks from the earthquake, that occurred on September 4, 2010, and after the main earthquake of the devastating earthquake on Feb. 22, 2011, followed by several earthquakes. As a result of this earthquake was almost completely destroyed the central part of Christchurch, and several districts have become uninhabitable. According to scientists, the epicenter of the earthquake on Feb. 22, 2011 in Christchurch, located in close proximity to the city, more than 200 people dead and missing in the earthquake. The economic damage caused by the earthquake on Feb. 22, 2011, valued at $ 15 billion and Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key called the February earthquake, "the most tragic event in the history of the country”.

earthquakes in New Zealand occured very often, as the country is on the south end of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The situation was aggravated by the fact, that New Zealand is also at the junction of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, so there is every year more than 14 thoUSAnd earthquakes, but on average no more than 20 of them have a magnitude above 5.

Pacific Ring of Fire is an area in the Pacific Ocean, where most active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Pacific Ring of Fire chain extends from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia - through the Kuril, Japan, Philippine Islands, New Guinea, Solomon Islands to New Zealand. Continuation of the Pacific Ring of Fire are the volcanoes of the north-east Antarctica. Just a area of the Pacific Ring of Fire is 328 active volcanoes of the 540 known on Earth. As a result of scientific observations revealed, that about 90% of all earthquakes and 80% of the most powerful earthquakes have occurred on Earth is in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

It was established, that the area of New Zealand continues to be one of the most seismically active regions of the Pacific Ring of Fire, as the measurements made by Australian scientists have identified the movement of the Indo-Australian plate to the east from the north at a rate of about 6.7 cm per year, while during taking measurements, scientists are faced with an anomaly-detected small changes of direction of the Indo-Australian plate in the Auckland region (New Zealand). Under assumptions of Australian scientists, this anomaly is caused by a slight deformation of the Indo-Australian plate in the place where it is compressed by the Pacific plate. Indo-Australian plate consists of the continent of Australia and surrounding ocean extending to the north-west to the Indian subcontinent and adjacent waters.

Recent studies revealed, that Indo-Australian plate may be in the process of active faults in two separate plates, as a result of stress caused by the collision of the Indo-Australian plate with the Eurasian around the Himalayas. In addition, the Pacific plate, sinking under the Australian plate, permanently, a few millimeters per year raises the eastern part of the North Island of New Zealand.

Thus, New Zealand is in the area of the Earth, where there is a very active underground processes and cessation of earthquakes in this region is expected. In general, in the district of New Zealand each year there are about 250 earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 3 points.

Therefore, all buildings and structures in New Zealand are being built with a more stringent building codes. Also in New Zealand legally secured and maintained by the state system of compensation for damage caused by earthquakes and other geological disasters.

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