I have just received an automated email from the US geological survey saying that there has been a 6.3 magnitude earthquake under the South Island of New Zealand, the epicentre being just 5 miles from Christchurch.
The depth of the quake was only 4km, which isn't good.
These automated reports are often downgraded, once a seismologist has reviewed the data, and I hope that happens on this occasion. An earthquake that powerful so near the surface can cause a lot of damage.
Apparently this was a continuation of an earthquake that hit the area late last year, and the locals were only just coming to terms with that.
There are reports of 65 deaths, and more are expected, plus many injured people requiring urgent or intermediate treatment.
What I cannot understand in this modern day and age, is the fact that there are suppose to be 24/7 monitoring equipments and personnel situated around the world, as an early warning system for these type of events. Yet it never seems to work, or the information is delayed, then exposed after the event.
I recall many years ago in South America, when the locals were concerned about a possible mudslide, yet the government stood by doing nothing except issuing argumentative statements. The end result of that, was many lives were lost, and large areas of property was destroyed.
The same principal I suppose, regarding that Boxing Day disaster all those years ago, which in some areas, the people are still suffering the after effects today.
I think the Queens letter to the people of New Zealand says what we all think. Unfortunately some never made it out alive and others had miricle escapes. Fe looked like he got it spot on when he posted about the earthquake early this morning. [An earthquake that powerful so near the surface can cause a lot of damage.]
Earthquakes are totally unpredictable, they happen at the most inconvenient times and in the most unlikely places. People living in these seismically active zones are told by the experts what to do in an emergency but unfortunately all logical reasoning goes out of the window when the EARTH moves ! That's the one thing you DONT expect to move, it's always been there beneath you and it's always been solid and unshakeable. Friends who have experienced these shocks have told me how their minds just couldn't cope with the ground moving. You are totally disorientated and all you training counts for little. Lets hope the death toll wont be too high.