Major Earthquake Hits New Zealand

Holy holy fuck:

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday afternoon, seriously damaged the city’s cathedrals, burst water mains, buckled streets and shut down phone service, according to media reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck just before 1 p.m. Tuesday (7 p.m. Monday ET), and a 5.6-magnitude aftershock struck about 15 minutes later.

Speaking from experience: Anything over 6.0 is a wild ride.

New Zealand rattled by strong quake [CNN]

That whooshing sound you hear from the PNW is Mr. Cynica’s passport getting pulled and hidden away.

Didn’t they have a Magnitude 7 quake about six months ago?

@Dodgerblue: So I’m hearing. How’d we miss that?

@redmanlaw: I’m just breathing a sigh of relief he’s not flying to Christchurch in a week. NZ was the second choice after Oz.
@Dodgerblue: September.

This is the third major quake in a year.

@nojo: @Mistress Cynica: Yeah, a 7.1 but no damage because it was relatively deep. Apparently, this one was quite shallow. CNN has some footage up already.

@Dodgerblue: Yes, this is an aftershock of the other quake. Never fear, this is under close monitoring by Mr. SFL (his fucking iPhone beeps every 20 seconds because of his settings for EQ monitoring), his buddies in the GNS are on it since it’s only 5 pm there, and oh yeah, we’re going there for a while in May to scope out emigrating the scenery.

@Dodgerblue: And yes, it’s all about the depth, not the motion.

/umm, wow. Didn’t mean it to sound like that.

Meanwhile, equally troubling, there was a 4.1 the other day in Arkansas on the New Madrid Fault.

The cities of Memphis and St. Louis do not have any seismic standards. (Unlike those of us on the Left Coast). Anything over a 5.3 will fuck them hard.

The thing is that is so fucked up about this, the Kiwis rival the Japanese in terms of First World seismic safety. The 7.1 they had last year in Christchurch was way stronger than what killed hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti, or earlier in Iran and Turkey. So when super-duper first world belt-and-suspenders fail, it means that it was super shallow and super close to the city.

@SanFranLefty: From the Herald:

GNS Science said today’s quake was centred at Lyttelton at a depth of 5km at 12.51pm.

GNS said the earthquake would have caused more damage than the original 7.1 earthquake on September 4 because of its shallow depth.

Its data centre manager Kevin Fenaughty said residents said the quake’s epicentre was located in the “worst possible location” for the city.

@SanFranLefty: Today in Irony: Mayor of Christ Church was just in NotTibet, where he emphasized the importance of mitigation and preparedness. Apparently he was lambasted (yes, there’s a Kiwi-on-sheep joke in there, somewhere) upon return for the “junket”.

Of special note is that there was a 4.3 temblor on the eve of the conference here, shallow but reasonably distant (1oo kms) so that although it registered on all of our phones that get those USGS texts, nobody mentioned it during the two day conference.

You want death, disaster and general misery, wait until NotTibet gets slammed with the inevitable 7.0 or 8.0.

@Nabisco: No shit. It’ll be Haiti/Turkey again.

So when a super-prepared First World place like NZ and the stiff-upper-lippers of that country are saying that the hospitals are preparing for “hundreds and hundreds of fatalities,” you know it’s fucking crazy.

Oh and apparently a delegation of Yanks and some folks in the State Department were in ChCh for some US-NZed love fest.

Attention Glenn Beck: Here’s China’s opportunity to move in.

@SanFranLefty: Holy crap. I’m sure rhey are way more prepared than we are in Lost Angels.

@Dodgerblue: I’ve got my five gallons of fresh water. Keep forgetting about the battery radio, though.

It’s coming up to Sunset in the land of the long white cloud (and stained underpants).

The media is reporting people setting up tents in their yards as they are too frightened to sleep inside their houses, other without tents are wondering where/how they will spend the night. At least it is still summer and the risk of hypothermia is much reduced.

Our office in Christchurch is vacated and will not be open again until inspected, so our Melb office is taking the strain.

Poor bunch of bastards.

@nojo: Big reminder to take that CPR course this spring.

@CheapBoy: We hope your people are safe.

@nojo: RW Talking point: “That’s what they get for calling themselves Christchurch“.

@nojo: bag with boots, socks, sleeping bag, wind up torch, some glow sticks, solar panel for charging stuff, coupla liters of water, lots of iodine pills, med kit, extra headlamp, sat phone, short wave radio and a multi-tool. Problem is, most that stuff is spread out in various parts of my apartment on any given day, and not actually inside the bag. I have a whistle and a tiny flashlight on my keychain, in any event.

@Nabisco: Yep, I’ve got two of those 50 gallon plastic garbage cans sealed up in the back yard with water, food, shelter, clothing, basic tools, first aid stuff all represented. Could be a better kit, but it’s still a zillion times better than anyone else I know. Seattle’s freakin’ doomed on the earthquake front, simply in the sense that we’re due a huge quake any time soon.

@IanJ: There’s plenty of drinking water in Lake Washington. The raw sewage, spilled boat fuel and MBTE just give it that special kick. Plus it’s refreshingly ice cold all year long. Last August I saw a five year-old girl on Madison Beach run up to the water and stick her toe in. “AAHHHHHH MOTHERFUCKER THAT’S COLD!” she screamed as she ran away.

Well, kiwis, look on the bright side. At least you’re not in Arizona.

A good friend of ours just emailed to say that he spent the night sleeping on the lawn of a friend’s house to be near people. It seems that everyone is in shock. He says the city is in ruins.

@Nabisco: I have all that crap in my go bag in the garage. I take it with me whenever I go hiking, fishing, hunting, target shooting or out to the rural areas more than an hour from home. I also have a lot of that stuff in the tool box of my truck and a little kit in Mrs RML’s Ford Escape.

OK, no sat phone or solar panels, but I have a nice selection of handguns to choose from. Fucking hippie water filter needs a goddamn manual to figure out so I might go back to iodine pills.

@redmanlaw: I took the solar panel out once, and it gets really warm in the sun and has a wire coming from it, but none of the adapters match up with any of my electronics. I also have a water filter, but after twenty minutes of trying it out in the sink, I gave up and tossed it in the closet. I figure that if I survive a big shake and don’t have to chew my leg off to get out of the rubble, the dysentery from drinking local water would take five to seven days to catch up with me.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment