Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Huge quake strikes New Zealand

A massive earthquake has struck New Zealand triggering a tsunami alert. Local news reports say that people ran from restaurants in Queenstown as buildings shook, and lights and phone lines went down. The GNS recorded it as a 6.6 magnitude quake off the west coast of the South Island some 170km from Invercargill. Overseas monitors have put the magnitude as high as 7.8. Wanaka resident Simon Darby told the New Zealand Herald a rumbling feeling in the ground forced him to run outside of his house.

"It must have lasted about two and half minutes. I lived in Tokyo for three years so I know what large quakes are like. Even though we are maybe 400km from the epicentre this was easily the longest and biggest I have ever felt," he said. "It wasn't very violent, more of a rolling feel. But it had a power about it - I ran straight outside into the carpark."

There are between 10,000 and 15,000 earthquakes in and around New Zealand each year. Most are small, but between 100 and 150 are big enough to be felt, according to GNS Science.
tvnewswatch reporting from Beijing, China

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