53578
Local residents look at damage caused by an earthquake along State Highway One near the town of Ward, south of Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island on Nov. 14.
Local residents look at damage caused by an earthquake along State Highway One near the town of Ward, south of Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island on Nov. 14.

Quake, Aftershocks Wreak Havoc in New Zealand

New Zealand lies in the seismically active "Ring of Fire", a 40,000-km arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Ocean. Around 90% of the world's earthquakes occur within this region

Quake, Aftershocks Wreak Havoc in New Zealand

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake pummeled central New Zealand early on Monday, killing at least two people, damaging roads and buildings, and setting off hundreds of strong aftershocks.
Emergency response teams flew by helicopter to the region at the epicenter of the tremor, which struck just after midnight some 91 km northeast of Christchurch in the South Island, amid reports of injuries and collapsed buildings.
"It's just utter devastation, I just don't know ... that's months of work," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told Civil Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee after flying over the coastal town of Kaikoura, according to Brownlee's Twitter account, Reuters reported.
He described landslips in the area as "just horrendous". In a statement seen by Reuters, Key said of the likely damage bill: "You’ve got to believe it’s in the billions of dollars to resolve."
Power lines and telecommunications were down, with huge cracks in roads, land slips and other damage to infrastructure making it hard to reach the worst-affected areas.
A tsunami warning that led to mass evacuations after the original quake was downgraded after large swells hit New Zealand's capital Wellington, in the North Island, and Christchurch.
Wellington was a virtual ghost town with workers ordered to stay away while the city council assessed the risk to buildings, several of which were damaged by the tremor. There were concerns that loose glass and masonry could be dislodged by severe weather hitting the capital, with 140 km per hour winds forecast.
Hundreds of aftershocks, the strongest a 6.2 quake at about 1.45 p.m. local time (0045 GMT), rattled the South Pacific country, fraying nerves in an area where memories of a deadly 2011 quake are still fresh.
Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand's ruggedly beautiful South Island, is still recovering from the 6.3 quake in 2011 that killed 185 people.
New Zealand's Civil Defense declared a state of emergency for the Kaikoura region, centered on a tourist town about 150 km northeast of Christchurch, soon after Monday's large aftershock.
Kaikoura, a popular spot for whale watching, appeared to have borne the brunt of the quake.
"Our immediate priority is ensuring delivery of clean water, food and other essentials to the residents of Kaikoura and the estimated 1,000 tourists in the town," Brownlee said.
The Navy's multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury was heading to the area, he said.
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) said a 20-person rescue team and two sniffer dogs had arrived in the town. A second team was on standby in Christchurch, USAR said in a statement.
Police in the area around Christchurch reported 19 burglaries of homes and commercial properties after the quake as residents headed for higher ground.
"It is extremely disappointing that at a time when people are facing such a traumatic event and communities are coming together to support one another, there are others who are only interested in taking advantage,” Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said in a statement.

  Twin Quakes
Hours after the quake, officials said a slip dam caused by the quakes that had blocked the Clarence River north of the town had breached, sending a wall of water downstream.
A group of kayakers missing on the river was later reported safe.
New Zealand's Geonet measured Monday's first quake at magnitude 7.5, while the US Geological Survey put it at 7.8. The quakes and aftershocks rattled buildings and woke residents across the country, hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter.
Geonet said four faults had ruptured, with one at the coast appearing to have slipped as much as 10 meters.
Government research unit GNS Science said the overnight tremor appeared to have been two simultaneous quakes, which together lasted more than two minutes.
New Zealand lies in the seismically active "Ring of Fire", a 40,000-km arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Ocean. Around 90% of the world's earthquakes occur within this region.
Stock exchange operator NZX Ltd said markets traded normally, although many offices in the capital were closed. The New Zealand dollar initially fell to a one-month low before mostly recovering.
Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, said some its farms were without power and would likely have to dump milk.
Prime Minister Key postponed a trip to Argentina, where he had planned to hold a series of trade meetings ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit in Peru this week, as he met disaster officials.
At least one of those killed was found in a house in Kaikoura that "collapsed like a stack of cards", Kaikoura Hospital's Dr Christopher Henry told Fairfax media. Two other people were pulled alive from the same building.

Short URL : https://goo.gl/u4Q2H3
  1. https://goo.gl/6Qlauj
  • https://goo.gl/0CWaHs
  • https://goo.gl/FWKbO0
  • https://goo.gl/rnxm4q
  • https://goo.gl/bmCerc

You can also read ...

US Rear Admiral Louis C. Tripoli
A top Chinese general attended the opening on Monday of a...
UN Yemen Envoy Arrives in Sanaa as Saudi-UAE Offensive Intensifies
The United Nations’ special envoy to war-ravaged Yemen has...
Merkel Backs Austria on Stronger EU Borders
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart...
Kavanaugh’s Future Now Hangs in Balance
Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser now has a name, and the Republican...
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet in April 2018.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday that he will...
Brazil Election Frontrunner Leaves Intensive Care
Brazil’s far-right presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro was...
Relations between Cuba and the United States are in decline...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Trending

Googleplus