Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Earthquake brings New Zealand and Australia closer together

Scientists say a massive earthquake has brought New Zealand a foot closer to Australia.

The 7.8 magnitude quake in the Tasman Sea expanded New Zealand's South Island westwards by about 30cm (12in), reports the BBC.

But with more than 1,400 miles separating the countries, nobody is likely to notice the difference. Nor, as the local media observed, is it likely to bring cheaper air fares.

Seismologist Ken Gledhill, of GNS Science, said that while the west coast had moved 30cm towards Australia, the east coast had moved only one centimeter westwards.

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

Although it was New Zealand's biggest earthquake in 78 years, it caused only slight damage to buildings and property when it struck in the remote Fiordland region west of Invercargill.

The quake generated a small tsunami, with a 3ft wave recorded on the west coast, and people living there were advised to move to higher ground.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to the articles should be strictly made Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License. To advertise here contact