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Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:00

Scientists reveal Mega-tsunami threat in New Zealand

Hikurangi Subduction Zone Source: Hikurangi Subduction Zone Source:

It is a matter of time before a massive earthquake that will trigger a disastrous tsunami, strikes, according to scientists.

The tremendous quake will hit the area of New Zealand. New data obtained from the 2016 Kaikōura earthquakes and geological evidence for prehistoric quakes showed that Hikurangi Subduction Zone, one of the biggest fault lines in the world, is about to be activated.

According to Dr. Laura Wallace, New Zealand's Geoscience Society (GNS) scientist, such a powerful temblor can trigger tsunami waves up to 30 meters-high.

5 Civil Defense Emergency Management (CDEM) groups in the North Island of New Zealand participate in an effort to develop an emergency plan. A Mw 8.9 earthquake scenario is assumed to prepare the communities and raise awareness among locals. "The scenario we are using to support the development of this response plan is a very realistic example of what we could face in our lifetime, or that of our children and grandchildren," Dr. Natasha Goldring, Project leader, stated.

GNS scientist Dr Kate Clark, suggests that even if large earthquakes have not occurred over the recent years in the subduction zone, "it is building up for something in the future". Dr. Goldring added: "While we're carrying out more research to build a clearer picture of the hazard posed by the Hikurangi fault, we know a rupture at some point in the future is certain."

Public and private sectors in New Zealand, including government officials, emergency services, health providers, business experts and NFO leaders, are alerted and feverishly preparing to address the threat. They also have to face the fact that the tsunami will strike very quickly. "Because the subduction zone is closer to us than it is in Japan, we would have large tsunamis and we wouldn't have as much warning - they could come in as early as six minutes. That would be very devastating to people near the coast - you could have up to 15, 20, 30m waves if you're right on the coast," Martha Savage, Professor of geophysics at Victoria University, stated.


Read 170 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:21

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