Sunday, September 5, 2010
New Zealand’s powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted railway lines around Christchurch ripped a new 11ft wide fault line in the earth’s surface, a geologist said today.
Canterbury University geology professor Mark Quigley said what ‘looks to us that it could be a new fault’ had ripped across the earth and pushed some surface areas up.
The quake was caused by the continuing collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, said Prof Quigley, who is leading a team trying to pin down the temblor’s source.
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‘One side of the earth has lurched to the right… up to 11 feet and in some places been thrust up,’ he told National Radio.
‘The long linear fracture on the earth’s surface does things like break apart houses, break apart roads. We went and saw two houses that were completely snapped in half by the earthquake.’
At least 500 buildings, including 90 properties, were designated as destroyed in the 7.1-magnitude quake that struck on Friday near the South Island city of 400,000 people. Most other buildings sustained only minor damage.
This article was posted: Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 3:36 am