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September 20, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Vic Experts Give Seismic Talk to Over 200

Expert staff from Victoria University spoke to a crowd of more than 200 about the Canterbury earthquake at Rutherford House recently.

Many of the large audience were forced to watch via a live feed on the Mezzanine of Rutherford House because the lecture theatre was full.

The talk came less than a week after Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which the Treasury have estimated may cause up to $4 billion in damage.

Professor Martha Savage of Victoria’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences and Dr Ken Gledhill, from GNS Science, spoke at the lecture.

Savage explained that the earthquake is described as a ‘strike-slip’ quake.

“The ground slides past itself horizontally, with very little up or down movement. The fault itself ruptured east to west away from Christchurch.”

She says it is likely that there will be one or two more aftershocks of over 5 magnitude, but that the intensity and frequency of the aftershocks was otherwise decreasing.

Gledhill, who was first made aware of the quake when his pager went off, says that the GNS website had 39.7 million hits over six days. The website gives information of the latest earthquakes around New Zealand. Individuals can also submit a ‘Felt Earthquake Report’, describing their experiences with the quake, through the website.

6000 people have reported what they had felt on the morning of the earthquake, but Gledhill says that reports from Canterbury were slower to come in.

“There was a bit of a lack in reports from Christchurch because the power was out in the city.”

Both Savage and Gledhill say it is extremely fortunate no one was killed during the earthquake.

A recording of the lecture can be viewed here.

More information and Felt Earthquake Reports can be found at www.geonet.org.nz.

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