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Subject: After an earthquake New Zealand moves 12 inches closer to Australia

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/23/09 at 1:41 am

New Zealand was moved 12 inches closer to Australia by a major earthquake last week, scientists have said.

The 7.8 magnitude tremor caused the southwest of the South Island to move about one foot nearer while the east coast moved less than half an inch, meaning the island actually stretched.

Ken Gledhill, of GNS Science, said the countries remained separated by the 1,400-mile-wide Tasman Sea, but the shift illustrated the huge force of the tremor, the biggest in the world so far this year.

He said: "Basically, New Zealand just got a little bit bigger is another way to think about it."

The earthquake, the biggest in New Zealand in 78 years, caused only slight damage to buildings and property when it struck the remote southwest Fiordland region of the South Island last Thursday.

A small tsunami was generated by the earthquake, with a tide gauge on the West Coast of New Zealand recording a wave of 40 inches.

"For a very large earthquake, although it was very widely felt, there were very few areas that were severely shaken," said Mr Gledhill.

Aerial inspection of forests near the quake's epicentre showed few land slips or other signs of damage.

This was partly because the rupture, at the boundaries of the Australian and Pacific plates, directed its energy largely westwards towards the sea rather than inland.

New Zealand frequently suffers earthquakes because it sits at the meeting point of the Australian and Pacific continental plates.

The latest quake was the biggest since February 2, 1931 when a 7.8 quake killed at least 256 people in the North Island city of Napier.


Subject: Re: After an earthquake New Zealand moves 12 inches closer to Australia

Written By: gibbo on 07/23/09 at 1:47 am

Wow...does this make the air fares cheaper?  ;)

Subject: Re: After an earthquake New Zealand moves 12 inches closer to Australia

Written By: gibbo on 07/23/09 at 1:50 am


Wow...does this make the air fares cheaper?  ;)


....and we will be able to combine our cricket teams!

Subject: Re: After an earthquake New Zealand moves 12 inches closer to Australia

Written By: Frank on 07/23/09 at 1:57 am

Now the swim between the two is much shorter. I think I'll have a go at it.

Subject: Re: After an earthquake New Zealand moves 12 inches closer to Australia

Written By: gibbo on 07/23/09 at 3:14 am


Now the swim between the two is much shorter. I think I'll have a go at it.


Nah....should be able to jump over now! ;)

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