Central New Zealand has been shaken by a strong 4.5 magnitude quake this evening.

GeoNet said the 17km-deep quake struck 10km southeast of Seddon, in Marlborough, at 6.41pm.

More than 600 people have reported feeling it on the GeoNet website.

On Twitter, Wellington web developer Bradley Campbell described it as a “little wibble wobble”, while James Fluker said it was “slight and rolly”.

Among the causalities was a Christmas decoration.

More than 600 people have reported feeling it on the GeoNet website. Photo / GeoNet

 


The upper South Island has been shaken by thousands of aftershocks since last month’s deadly 7.9 magnitude quake, which caused extensive damage around Kaikoura and Wellington.


 

The scientists responsible for keeping track of all the earthquakes and volcanoes in New Zealand have answered burning questions about a range of natural disasters.

A volcanologist, seismologist and “social science operations specialist” held a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) on Thursday night.

From their thoughts on Netflix films to the terrifying sounding seismic “unzipping”, the scientists were asked almost everything.

GNS volcanologist Brad Scott in Ohinemutu after yet another eruption in Lake Rotorua.

Here’s the best of what they said:

ON MT TARANAKI ERUPTING

There's an 81 per cent chance that Mt Taranaki will erupt by 2065.

There’s an 81 per cent chance that Mt Taranaki will erupt by 2065.

Moderate to large eruptions have occurred on average every 500 years.

The last major eruption of Taranaki occurred around 1854. It’s estimated that the volcano has erupted over 160 times in the last 36,000 years.

There are no indications that Mt Taranaki is about to erupt, however, its unbroken geological history of activity tells us that it will in the future. We are in an unusually long (although not unprecedented) lull in activity.

Research from 2014 estimates an 81 per cent probability of at least one eruption by 2065.

– GNS’s most experienced volcanologist, Brad Scott

Where the Alpine fault lies.

Where the Alpine fault lies.

ON THE ALPINE FAULT ‘UNZIPPING’

The Alpine Fault produces magnitude 8 earthquakes approximately every 330 years.

It last ruptured almost 300 yrs ago in 1717. So, approximately 90 per cent of its “typical” interseismic period has elapsed since the last major earthquake.

There is a reasonable expectation that it will rupture in the next 50 years. The terms “unzipping” and “megaquake” are not really terms we would use at all ( except when we’re watching C-grade Californian disaster movies).

– GNS seismologist Stephen Bannister

Rangitoto Island... It's a volcano.

Rangitoto Island… It’s a volcano.

ON AN ERUPTION IN AUCKLAND

The next Auckland eruption is problematic, as we do not know where it will be, almost every eruption has been at a new site.

The eruption will totally destroy everything within about 2-3 km and have significant impacts out to around 5km. The style will depend on the wet/dry factor (where the eruption is). Warning will be relatively short (ie days, not weeks or months).

An aerial photograph showing where Grafton's buried volcanic crater lies.

An aerial photograph showing where Grafton’s buried volcanic crater lies.

– GNS volcanologist Brad Scott

ON #EMERGENCYCUTE

​I did the #emergencycute in (I think it was day 2?) of the response…

I was sitting in the office late at night and I just felt a bit powerless with all the earthquakes going on. I just wanted to cheer up other people. So, you are most welcome and thanks for that.

We’ll keep up #emergencycute in future as well.

– GNS social science operations specialist Sara McBride

 

 

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