Severe earthquake strikes South Island

A magnitude 7.5 severe earthquake has struck 15 km north-east of Culverden at 12:02am, Monday 14th November.

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake was 15 kilometres deep.  The highest level of impact reported so far has been MMI8 (severe) this level of shaking includes people experiencing difficulty standing. Furniture and appliances shifting. Substantial damage to fragile or unsecured objects and a few weak buildings may be damaged. This level of shaking was reported via the GeoNet felt reports in the upper South Island and lower North Island.

The inital earthquake was felt widely throughout New Zealand. Currently, there are more than 15,000 Felt reports.There have already been many aftershocks recorded, the largest has a magnitude of 6.2.

MCDEM have issued a tsunami threat for the initial earthquake. Our tide guages at Kaikoura, Wellington, and Castlepoint have recorded this. Please follow advice regarding tsunami via the Civil Defence website - anyone at the coast on the East Coast of New Zealand move to higher ground.



Thus far there have been approximately 45   aftershocks. It is difficult to predict an aftershock sequence because it is too soon after the initial earthquake to understand the pattern. We need more time and aftershocks to occur so we can get a better picture of what is going on.


Scientific information about the quake

Peak ground accelerations (PGAs) have been recorded up to 0.23g in Wellington. This is similar to the 2013 Lake Grassmere and Cook Strait earthquakes. The PGAs closer to the earthquake will be much larger. We are still working on calculating these values.

Our GPS stations record how land moved in response to the earthquake. Our station at Cape Campbell in Malborough moved two metres north.


Updated at 03:25am More information soon.

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