Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No earthquake here

Media reports of an earthquake and Tsunami warning in New Zealand have caused some concern for our friends and family overseas. So, for their benefit, we are completely fine—the earthquake was at the opposite end of the country from us, about 160km northwest of Invercargill (the official report is here). Invercargill is approximately 1183km (735 US miles) south of Auckland, so we never felt a thing, though much of the South Island did.

According to GNS Science, there are between 10,000 and 15,000 earthquakes in and around New Zealand each year, of which 100 - 150 are big enough to be felt. I’ve felt two in thirteen years, neither of them particularly strong, though the most recent one—nearly two and a half years ago—got my attention.

The Tsunami warning is pretty standard procedure for earthquakes of this magnitude, but that doesn’t mean one will happen. Still, earthquakes and Tsunamis are something that all New Zealanders are told to be prepared for (and in Auckland, we add volcanoes to that list).

So, we are fine, people in the South Island are fine, and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry about a Tsunami. I have to admit, it was great (and touching) to see Twitter—which is so quick to relay breaking news—light up with folks’ concern for our well-being. Thank you all.