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Shiver me timbers! This was more than the usual tremor and which Kiwis tend to take in their stride. It was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, which struck at 8.55pm NZT yesterday (Thursday 20th) and was centred 50km offshore southeast of Gisborne and 40km deep. It was followed this morning (Friday 21st) by aftershocks measuring 4.2 and 4.5 on the Richter Scale. The picture above is a clip from my xearth display of the event today. (The bigger the circle the bigger the Richter.)
Officials declared a state of emergency for the city, when it became evident that the damage was more extensive than had at first been thought.
Injuries/deaths: There were only 11 reported injuries arising from this quake. One death - an elderly lady with a suspected heart attack - was reported at about the time the quake struck.
Damage: An apartment building and two shops had partially collapsed, roofs caved in, water tanks and winery vats burst and gaping holes opened up in roadways. Four houses had been damaged, including one under construction.