I actually quite like earthquakes: a little rattle now and again keeps you on your toes. There was a little one just a few minutes ago, for example, where Deb and I checked with one another, and agreed
that was definitely something just now. It turns out that quake was a magnitude 3.5, 30 km deep and about 30 km away from us.
New Zealand experiences a lot of earthquakes each year, most of them not even noticeable.
GNS Science says:
Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt, – the others we only know about because they are recorded by seismographs.
Historic trends and records dating from the 1840s show that, on average, New Zealand can expect several magnitude 6 earthquakes every year, one magnitude 7 every 10 years, and a magnitude 8 every century.
This 2.5 minute Geonet video about how often New Zealand has earthquakes is also a good watch:
But although I enjoy a bit of a tremor now and again, this morning we had a quake that left me a bit shaken, both figuratively and literally.
There was a loud noise and only moments later we had a big shake that went on for quite a while. My cup of tea nearly sloshed over, everything was rattling and banging. The cats and dogs were alarmed, as I was. It was surprising that nothing fell off the walls or shelves as the quake certainly seemed like quite a big one. That one was a 5.2, 27 Km deep and about 35 Km away from us.
One interesting feature of living where we do is that there are several pheasants round about. With every earthquake they squawk. It’s a handy check on events.
But today’s quake got me to thinking — pheasants don’t report earthquakes accurately enough. I recently invested in a small weather station. It was extremely easy to set up and is keeping me well informed about wind, rain, temperature and a few other things. Now what I’d like is an earthquake monitor of my own to report on shaking.
I’d love to see some enterprising inventor create a low cost household earthquake sensor that would look good, be incredibly easy to install and then report its data in the same way my weather station does, perhaps even including a world map of readings. I bet I wouldn’t be the only Kiwi who’d buy a device like that. Who’s up for the challenge?