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Eke shaken but unstirred

PHOTO/FILE

No big one predicted

STEVE RENDLE
[email protected]

A small swarm of earthquakes in the past couple of weeks has left Eketahuna mildy shaken but largely unstirred.

The largest, a 4.3 quake at 7.28pm on Monday, was rated as ‘moderate’ by GNS Science.

The quake was centred 20 kilometres northeast of the town, 22km deep.

It was followed five minutes later by a 2.6 magnitude quake.

In previous weeks, there have been at least four shakes from 2.4 to 3.1 in the area, but Eketahuna Community Board chairman and Civil Defence head Charlie Death was largely unmoved.

Monday night’s shake was big enough to get residents’ attention, but nothing to write home about.

“The first thing we noticed was the door [moving], and we thought ‘wait for it’ and then there was a bit of jolt.

“I had the cat sitting on my chair and it knew something was happening before it arrived, but wasn’t too bothered.”

Death said the quakes brought back memories of the 6.2 quake in 2014 which had everybody shaking.

“I remember coming back to town and everyone was out of their houses, making sure their neighbours were okay.

“It just showed that the CD messages were getting through.”

His wife, Rena Tyler, said shakes below 4.0 didn’t get people’s attention.

“[On Monday] we just thought, that’s an earthquake and moved on with life,” she said.

Nevertheless, GNS Science seismic duty officer Caroline Little said there had been 31 aftershocks from the 4.3 “mainshock” ranging in magnitude from 0.8 to 2.6.

“These quakes are in a similar area to the 2014 6.2 Eketahuna quake,” she said, but were not likely to be harbingers of another larger earthquake.

“The most likely scenario is that these quakes will taper off without causing a larger quake.

“We have already seen these aftershocks taper off, as we expect with a quake of this magnitude.”

Little said the area was one of New Zealand’s most seismically active regions, with the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates off the east coast of the North Island.

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