New Zealand has recently been rocked by a series of earthquakes that raised the alarm in the country. On Saturday a weak 3.2 magnitude earthquake shook Christchurch, and on Sunday, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Hawke’s Bay.
On Friday, however, tsunami fears were sparked after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake was identified off the coast of New Zealand.
But GNS seismologist John Ristau claims the new string of earthquakes are not concerning.
“There’s nothing unusual going on in New Zealand that doesn’t happen all the time,” says Dr Ristau.
“New Zealand just gets earthquakes all the time and that’s just part and parcel of New Zealand sitting directly over top of the boundary between two huge tectonic plates that are crashing together and moving side-by-side past each other.”
Contrasted with other nations, Dr Ristau says New Zealand is “one of the more seismically active countries”.
“So we do get our fair share of earthquakes and a lot more than most other places in the world.
“In the last year we’ve located over 20,000 earthquakes in New Zealand in the offshore region.”
But he says the vast majority of those earthquakes are magnitude 1 and 2 – far too weak for people to perceive.
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A Facebook user wrote: “Was long and strong in Gisborne. We live on beach and don’t normally feel them but that one shook us around.”
Another said: “Felt it here in Napier, went on for quite a few seconds, I still remember that first quake in Christchurch Sept 4 2010 a 7.1 it was horrible, but glad this one wasn’t on land.”
A resident from Christchurch, said: ‘It felt like I was on a boat.”
It comes after last month a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km north-west of Levin, a town about an hour’s drive north from the capital.
According to the country’s seismology agency the earthquake was at a depth of 37 km.