New Zealand Struck by 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake
NEW ZEALAND – After a high magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand over the weekend, with a small tsunami on its heels, the country’s infrastructure has suffered major damages. Likewise, the 7.8 magnitude earthquake has brought transportation to a complete stop, leaving residents, tourists, and goods stuck in the affected area.
The earthquake struck on Sunday, in the more rural area of Kaikoura, located on New Zealand’s South Island, 55 miles northeast of the nearest city, Christchurch. The initial and most powerful earthquake reached 14 miles deep into the earth.
This seismic activity then triggered a small tsunami that brought waves 8 feet high to the country, according to CNN. Aftershocks have also continued to roll into the country with a series of over 42 earthquakes, all registering between magnitudes of 2 and 6. Aftershocks were experienced even further, with individuals reporting effects felt all the way to the country’s North Island.
"I'd say it's billions of dollars worth of money that we have to spend here but we're focused on what we're doing and we'll keep up the good work," stated Prime Minister John Key in a YouTube video. The Prime Minister went on to state that, as of now, it looked as though roads to the north and south of the initially struck area will not be opened without difficulty.
NPR reported that as a result of the seismic activity and all of its after effects, several key railroads and highways have been destroyed, in addition to water supplies and sewer systems. As of now, Key stated that full clean-up and repair to the country’s foundational systems could take months and cost billions of dollars, although information is still rolling in.
Authorities have deemed several roads out of the area as impassable, and have also been warning residents in the area of any related foundational issues, such as dams being breached.
Although the earthquake was the strongest New Zealand has experienced in five years, NPR estimated that the damage will still be less than past quakes as this seismic activity occurred in a more rural area than others. CNN stated that New Zealand lies in a collision zone between the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, making earthquakes a regular occurrence in the country, although perhaps not of this magnitude.
As information continues to unfold, count on AndNowUKnow for the latest.