So a few blog readers have asked me a few things about earthquakes - so I thought I'd do a bit of an earthquake related post. You see I've pretty much always lived with earthquakes (except for my year in South Korea). Earthquakes are just a part of life in the areas of New Zealand I have lived in and generally they don't both me or anyone too much - in fact I don't notice a lot of earthquakes that happen. These latest two earthquakes all relate to a fault line in Seddon in the South Island.
The earthquake in Wellington was scary and a lot of media coverage has been about Wellington as it is the capital city - with lots of tall buildings and a large population. However, many smaller towns in the South Island were much worse hit than we were. Here's a photo of a house in Seddon after the most recent earthquake.
We didn't have any damage to this level in Wellington thankfully - you really have to feel for the people that own this house though. Image from here.
As I say I have always lived with a lot of earthquakes, in fact I'm not sure when earthquakes weren't part of life. You are taught from a very young age to get under you desk/in a doorway/under ANYTHING when an earthquake hits. So much so that's pretty much instinctive.
In my home province of Taranaki we had quite a few earthquakes, however the earthquakes at home were more rolling and less violent. Often by the time you realised it was an earthquake, it was already over with and there was no need to get under your desk. Besides I spend most of my childhood concerned that the dormant volcano our whole province had been built around was going to explode again and destroy everything.
Yes it does look all serene and calm - but its dormant and not extinct. Scientists think there was last volcanic activity here approximately 350 years ago. Image from here.
Some people have asked is Wellington built to cope with earthquakes - the answer is yes as much as any city can be build to cope with earthquakes.
Wellington was badly hit by the Wairarapa Earthquake in 1855 - it was the strongest earthquake recorded since colonisation had begun and it is thought to be between 8.1 - 8.3 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake literally lifted new land up from the ocean.
There are a lot of fault lines running through Wellington - we often get warned about the potential of the "Wellington Fault" and the harm it could potentially cause the city.
Crush zone? That does not sound good at all....
So some of you may be thinking, with the threat of earthquakes and why would anyone in their right mind chose to live in Wellington? I have thought that myself from time to time, after all, I'm not a native Wellingtonian.
For my career - I really need to live in one of the big cities - Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. I love visiting Auckland but its not somewhere I would ever live (its too spread out geographically and I couldn't walk everywhere) and well as I'm sure you all know if I want to move to avoid earthquakes then moving to Christchurch makes little to no sense. I would dearly love to live in Dunedin - but finding work there is just about impossible for me.
I do know that life isn't all about career - but you do have to do that you love. So in addition to my career Wellington has some of the best friends I have ever made and also there is also loads happening here and its also quite beautiful, so why would I live anywhere else?
Plus its only mother nature going crazy - in so many parts of the world people are tearing each other apart every single day. It's just nature and no one can control nature.