5.6 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand, 'bit of a roller coaster' notes net
An earthquake has struck New Zealand's southern island, government seismic monitor Geonet confirmed on February 21, 2022. The intensity of the earthquake was measured at 5.6 on the Ritcher Scale and reportedly struck at a depth of 30km near the town of Seddon in the Marlborough District. The effects were felt as far as Wellington, 79 miles away on New Zealand's northern island.
While the nation is no stranger to earthquakes, people are on edge as it comes just weeks after a massive volcanic eruption in Tonga. The tiny island nation was left isolated for days after the massive eruption as nations around the world struggled to establish communications. On January 27, the nation was also hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, while relief efforts were ongoing.
For New Zealanders, another cause of concern will be the 2011 Christchurch quake which devastated much of the south island's Canterbury region. It was the nation's fifth-deadliest disaster in history, killing 185 people. Thankfully, so far, it appears such devastation has been avoided in the February quake. There's little we know at the moment about the damage caused, but at 5.6, it certainly wasn't a gentle one.
Geonet said it received "more than 15,000 felt reports", including some in the Canterbury region. It appears the worst-struck regions were Wellington and Nelson regions, according to The New Zealand Herald. An interactive map by Geonet indicates that the effects of the quake were felt all over the nation, including up north as far as Auckland. So far, there have been no reports of death or damage, but that could change as more news comes in.
On social media, users characterized the quake as "Odd gentle roll here in Whanganui" and "Good bit of a shake felt in Upper Hutt." One Twitter user noted, "Upgrades to 5.6 I was a step ladder ready to hang new curtains - bit of a roller coaster."
Odd gentle roll here in Whanganui— Science Learning Hub (@NZScienceLearn) February 21, 2022
Good bit of a shake felt in Upper Hutt.— HansPV (@AitchPeaVay) February 21, 2022
Upgrades to 5.6 I was a step ladder ready to hang new curtains - bit of a roller coaster-— Dr Wendy Maddocks, DHlthSc, Registered Nurse (@dr_wendym_RN) February 21, 2022
"Well that was short, violent and loud," one user commented. Another noted, "Proper swaying in New Plymouth." Based on Geonet's reports, it appears the effects of the quake varied greatly, even in areas close to each other, but far from the epicenter.
Well that was short, violent and loud— DarkUnicornBlood (@honyflame) February 21, 2022
Proper swaying in New Plymouth.— Delwyn Masters (@DelwynMasters) February 21, 2022