March 12, 2018
AN Earthquake rocked the North Island of New Zealand with more than 1000 worried locals reporting having felt the quake, the epicentre of which was close to an active volcano that last erupted in 2007, it has been reported.
Earthquake ROCKS New Zealand near ACTIVE volcano Mount Ruapehu
The magnitude 4.4 quake hit at lunchtime, 12:51pm NZDT, and 1019 locals reported having felt it, according to the New Zealand earthquake commission.
One individual reported having felt the quake in Wellington and bizarrely someone as far away as Christchurch has also logged the tremor.
The epicentre for the earthquake was close to Mount Ruapehu which is an active stratovolcano at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
The volcano last erupted on September 25 2007 but in April 2016 local monitoring site Geonet issued a volcanic alert reporting that Crater Lake's temperature has risen to a worrying level.
On 11 May 2016 the volcanic alert level was raised to level 2 and the aviation colour code was changed from green to yellow.
Some scenes of the fictional Mordor and Mount Doom in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy were filmed on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu.
Experts have recently warned that New Zealand could be in the firing line of a devastating tsunami and earthquake after the awakening of a dormant fault line, a geologist warns.
The long-dormant Hikurangi fault line was recently re-energised and could now produce a deadly magnitude 9.0 earthquake.
GNS scientist Ursula Cochran said: “We need to think Japan 2011 basically, because if our whole plate boundary ruptured it would be a magnitude-9 earthquake.”
The geologist has claimed that the fault line is moving again following the deadly Kaikōura quake in 2016.
New Zealand sits along the fault line between the Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate leaving it susceptible to quakes.
A quake on the boundary could cause a tsunami comparable to the horror wave that killed 16,000 people in Japan and caused a nuclear meltdown.
Kaikōura earthquake, which reactivated the fault line, took two lives when it hit New Zealand but there could be much worse to come, Ms Cochran warns
She said: “One thing about reflecting on the Kaikōura earthquake is we don't want people to think this is the big one.”
Earthquake ROCKS New Zealand near ACTIVE volcano Mount Ruapehu
The epicentre of the quake could hit anymore along the eastern coastline of the northern island of New Zealand and parts of the south.
The tsunamis can lead to a much larger loss of life than the earthquake itself.
Ms Cochran said: “We know from tsunami modelling (of) the Hikurangi subduction zone that the travel times could be very short, so seven minutes for some of the south Wairarapa coast.”
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