Monday, July 22, 2013

living on the fault line

In fact a few of them. The earthquake yesterday evening was the strongest since one in 1968 which led to the decision to replace the old General Post Office with the new Postal Centre, opened in 1972 (see earlier posts for pics).

Wellington lies on top of the junction of two continental plates, making it NZ's 'earthquake central' and the experience in Christchurch led to a significant toughening of the earthquake code (already stringent) that buildings must comply with.

One thing worth remembering is that the Richter scale is an exponential one - a magnitude 6 earthquake has a Seismic Energy Yield of 15 kilotons of TNT, a magnitude 6.5 is 85 kilotons and magnitude 7 is 480 kilotons - and a magnitude 8 is 15 megatons.

Our people say neither our Wellington nor Kapiti premises were damaged in any way.  In the city 35 buildings suffered some damage (none of it structural) and the perimeter next to the sea of the container terminal had a small amount of collapse.  Otherwise the road and rail infrastructure is unscathed as are services such as electricity, gas, water, telecommunications and sewerage.

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