Strong earthquakes rock shaken New Zealand city - again
2011-06-14 0:00

By David Cohen | CSMonitor.com

This has not been a great year for those in the business of predicting natural disasters – just ask Harold Camping, the Christian radio broadcaster who prophesied that the world as we know it would end last month.

Scientists in New Zealand, however, are (perhaps not so surprisingly) better at their predictions; though they might be ruing their talent in the wake of yet another spate of nasty temblors in this country’s second-largest city, radiating out across half of these shaky isles, including the desk in Wellington where these words are being gingerly typed.

Late last month, residents of Christchurch, already seriously frazzled by two major earthquakes and 6,000 aftershocks since last September, awoke to the news that the region’s GNS Science had set the chances of another quake in the next year at 1 in 4. Specifically, the organization had put the likelihood of a magnitude-6.0 or -7.0 earthquake over the next 12 months at 23 percent, with a 90 chance of a shake between 5.0 and 6.0.


Liquefaction during most recent quake in Christchurch, June 2011.

These predictions had native Cantabrians reaching for their telephones and thus Mayor Bob Parker for his laptop.

While not wanting to take anything away from these figures, Mr. Parker responded to concerns soothingly. It was important to note that the warning related to the entire region in which the city of Christchurch, home to around 400,000 Kiwis, is a relatively small part. The probability of any such quake again hitting the city was therefore “significantly lower.”

Early today, however, those probabilities were shown to be significantly higher, with both categories of tremors striking within a 90-minute period: first a nasty magnitude-5.5 jolt, with a genuinely unpleasant 6.0 encore at 2:20 p.m. Their combined seismic weight took down at least another 50 buildings in the immediate city and caused much liquefaction to bubble up again on the eastern side of what used to be known as New Zealand’s Garden City.

Still, there were no reports of serious casualties this time. Except, perhaps, to the fervent faith of some of us down here who hoped a little too hard that our scientific prophecies of doom might go the way of Mr. Camping’s predictions.


Article from: csmonitor.com
Top Image: Damaged St. John the Baptist Church is seen following a series of earthquakes that shook Christchurch, New Zealand, June 13.
Geoff Slone/New Zealand Herald/AP














Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Fanning the Flames of Another Black Church Arson Hoax
2015-07-02 0:57
America is still reeling from the horrific Charleston, S.C., massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that claimed the lives of nine innocent people. The last thing the community and our country need are hysterical journalists compounding the pain with inflammatory reporting on an unsubstantiated “epidemic” of black church arsons. On Monday, a Baltimore Sun lead editorial decried “a series of mysterious ...
Cold War Redux: Do you want to fight in World War Three?
2015-07-02 0:04
The rhetoric coming of Washington is pushing us dangerously close to a world changing scenario. In the following episode of CrossTalk, Peter Lavelle discusses the way Russia and Putin are being framed by Western governments and mainstream media with guests including Chris Hedges. The dangers of ignoring historical context when reporting ‘news’ is examined, along with the pure ‘imperial hubris’ of ...
Survey Says: 35 Percent of Americans Would Expatriate
2015-07-02 0:14
 As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags. A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would considering leaving the United States to live in ...
Greek crisis deepens as loan repayment deadline passes
2015-07-01 23:19
Greece's midnight deadline passed Tuesday for repaying $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund and other international creditors, deepening a financial crisis that threatens the Mediterranean nation's membership in the European Union. Despite an eleventh-hour effort by Greek lawmakers Tuesday to secure a new two-year debt deal before the deadline, European finance ministers reviewing Greece's proposal concluded their conference call without ...
Black Suspect Arrested After Racist Message Discovered Outside Predominately Black Church
2015-07-01 22:46
A Colorado Springs man was arrested after police believe he left racist messages outside a church. Vincent Broughton, 44, who is black, is facing charges for committed a bias-motivated crime and disorderly conduct. The signs were posted outside the New Covenant church that is predominately attended by African Americans. One sign references the KKK. Another reads, “Black men beware, you are the ...
More News »