Strong quake jolts New Zealand as cyclone Gabrielle displaces 10,000 people

 Thursday, February 16, 2023 


Right in the wake of the Turkey-Syria tragedy, another strong earthquake has just struck New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington.

According to reports, citizens of the area felt enormous amounts of shaking as buildings began to quiver around 7:38 PM, local time.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was clocked at a magnitude of 5.7 near Cook Strait in New Zealand, at a depth of 74.3 kilometres. It struck the island country at 12:08 PM, Indian time.

Fortunately, no immediate reports of damage have surfaced so far.

However, there is some conflicting information, with New Zealand’s geological hazard monitoring institute, GeoNet Service (GNS), reporting a magnitude of 6.3 at a depth of 50 kilometres instead.

Some compared the quakes akin to heavy trucks rolling by.

Earthquakes are fairly common in New Zealand since the island nation sits on the Ring of Fire — the collision zone of two of the Earth’s major tectonic plates, the Pacific and the Australian plates.

In addition, New Zealand is also struggling in the aftermath of the catastrophic Cyclone Gabrielle since Februrary 11, that has left at least three dead and inundated one-third of the country’s total population.

This led the government to declare the third state of emergency in its history of existence.

According to GNS, Gabrielle could also lead to thousands of landslides in the North Island, which could cost the state crores of rupees in damages.

This cyclone has caused significant damage to property and national lifeline assets, like roading and rail, and water and power services, and it’s not over yet, notes Chris Massey, a GNS Engineering Geologist.

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