Massive quake moves NZealand 1 ft closer to Australia

By | July 23, 2009

Massive quake moves NZealand 1 ft closer to Australia

A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake last week has moved the south of New Zealand closer to Australia, scientists said Wednesday.With the countries separated by the 2,250-kilometre-wide 1,400-mile-wide Tasman Sea, the 30 centimetre 12 inch closing of the gap in New Zealand’s southwest won’t make much difference.But earthquake scientist Ken Gledhill of GNS Science said the shift illustrated the huge force of the tremor, the biggest in the world so far this year.”Basically, New Zealand just got a little bit bigger is another way to think about it,” he told AFP.While the southwest of the South Island moved about 30 centimetres closer to Australia, the east coast of the island moved only one centimetre westwards, he said.The biggest quake in New Zealand in 78 years caused only slight damage to buildings and property when it struck the remote southwest Fiordland region of the South Island last Thursday.A small tsunami was generated by the earthquake, with a tide gauge on the West Coast of New Zealand recording a wave of one metre.”For a very large earthquake, although it was very widely felt, there were very few areas that were severely shaken,” Gledhill said.Aerial inspection of the forested fiords near the quake’s epicentre showed few land slips or other signs of damage.

via physorg

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