More Earthquake Weather


I swear this has been the coldest, most miserable spring for a long time. All the kitties are inside dying from the rains. Or so they’d have me believe.

Despite New Zealand suffering a 7.5 earthquake yesterday, life goes on much as always in this part of the country. The earthquake hit a rural area of the South Island, and after shocks have been rumbling up much of the country all day. I still haven’t felt one. One man died when his 19th century house collapsed, and another had a fatal heart attack, but it could have been much worse. Roads have been badly damaged by landslides, cutting off some towns. Power was lost in a lot of places, as were phone and water connections. Several buildings in Wellington were evacuated, as well as some schools. The rainstorms that are rolling through today will certainly make life even more difficult for those with broken houses. Repair bills are likely to run into the billions… A 7.5 earthquake is certainly nothing to sniff at, but as I said: it could have been much, much worse.

One shouldn’t be smug, but at least New Zealand is accustomed to earthquakes. We get lots of them. I’ve felt several already this year. A few of them are big and serious, but most are very small and no more noticeable than a truck rumbling past your house. The small ones are really only scary if you choose to be scared. We have building codes (now) that are designed to accommodate earthquakes. (Hint: wood is good, masonry is bad) In general, we can regard earthquakes much like the weather: sometimes inconvenient, rarely fatal, but altogether something that no one can control so you may as well just put up with it.

For those further south, the aftershocks will continue for a few weeks, but then they will rebuild and things will go on largely as they did before. Even the rain will stop. Eventually.


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