Residents unrattled by Wairoa shake

By Nicki Harper

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SHAKEN: A magnitude 5.1 earthquake that struck on Saturday was centred 40km north of Wairoa. PHOTO FILE
SHAKEN: A magnitude 5.1 earthquake that struck on Saturday was centred 40km north of Wairoa. PHOTO FILE

An earthquake classed as "severe" struck near Wairoa on Saturday night.

GeoNet said the magnitude 5.1 earthquake, which hit at 8.21pm on Saturday, was centred 40km north of the Hawke's Bay town at a depth of 13km.

An earlier status from GeoNet reported the quake as being a "strong" magnitude 5, at 17km deep.

Nearly 1000 people reported feeling the shake, from as far north as Auckland and as far south as Nelson.

Tiniroto Road is near the epicentre of the earthquake but resident Glyn Waite said it was only mild.

"We live in a wooden house it just creaked a bit, there wasn't a jolt - we have had worse."

Fellow Tiniroto Road resident Andrew Wallace said he may have had "one too many beers" and didn't feel anything.

Wairoa District councillor Hine Flood, who lives in the township, said she experienced a slight rocking motion.

"We were waiting in anticipation for more movement. It was not as strong as one we felt the week before but it was definitely enough to remind us, and make us wonder if this is another big one Geonet has warned about."

On social media, many people from Gisborne commented that they felt it strongly, with one noting their lights were swaying and the fish tank and pool water slopping.

One area to have had multiple shakes since the Kaikoura earthquake was Porangahau, and as of Saturday, 225 had been recorded in the region.

A GNS Science update noted most of them had been smaller than magnitude 3, and were in the same area as the slow-slip event detected offshore of Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

As of this weekend, the East Coast slow-slip event that was detected earlier in the week had been joined by one also taking place in the Kapiti and Manawatu regions.

Geonet public information specialist Caroline Little said multiple slow-slip events had occurred in these regions previously, but simultaneous events in multiple regions had never before been detected.

She said slow-slips had never been monitored following a central New Zealand earthquake as big as Kaikoura, so this could be typical behaviour in the aftermath of such a large quake.

"We are continuing to monitor the event closely as it unfolds. The Kapiti-Manawatu slow-slip event has involved movement across the Hikurangi subduction zone plate boundary of between 5-7cm, equivalent to a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in the last two weeks," she said.

The Gisborne-Hawke's Bay event had involved slip across the plate boundary up to about 15cm, equivalent to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

As of yesterday, there had been a total 5939 earthquakes recorded since the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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