NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > NEW ZEALAND COMES WITHIN RICHTER POINTS OF A TSUNAMI
NEW ZEALAND COMES WITHIN RICHTER POINTS OF A TSUNAMI
July 15 2009
Wellington, New Zealand – It is no mystery why the word for the massive waves capable of destroying cities is Japanese one. For centuries the nation has been wracked by tidal forces which, in varying degrees, have shaped the nature of the country. Other nations in the world have also been heavily affected by Tsunamis, the
most devastating of which was the 2004 Indian Ocean wave that killed almost a quarter of a million people in eleven countries, principally Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. Now one other nation was almost added to that list.
A major undersea earthquake struck just off the coast of New Zealand last night, sending residents panicking and scientists warning of a possible Tsunami. Though the country has seen Tsunami’s before, this recent quake was the first to gain real international attention and carried with it the hopes of a nation currently burdened under major economic stress and growing social discord. With the quake measuring only a 7.8 on the Richter scale it was not enough to unleash a fury of water on the island nation, and thus dooming the country further into the depths of global indifference.
“We've had big differences in the measurements of the quake, ranging from 6.6 by GNS Science, to 8.2 by a tsunami warning centre in Hawaii - we're issuing a precautionary message,” said emergency management spokesperson
Vince Cholewa. “An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicentre within minutes to hours. We are issuing a potential tsunami warning for the region.”
The quake was felt as far away as the Australian mainland though scientists there were not inclined to issue a similar warning to their residents.
“Australians typically do not pay much attention to what is going on in New Zealand and that hasn’t changed today. They can have all the earthquakes they want but that still isn’t going to make the mainstream of Australian
society sit up and take notice. This is a fairly typical move by them. They have a little incident and blow it our proportion hoping to get some kind of attention which of course never works,” said Gerald Kevins of Geoscience Australia. “I’m sure many of them would have loved for a tsunami because it would have brought them all kinds of attention and money. Destroyed houses and businesses but the world would have come to their rescue and in turn that would have created jobs. Good idea I suppose and so much easier than actually working, but that s typical of New Zealand. The world thinks of them as Middle Earth but I can tell you most of us don’t think in the same way.”
New Zealand has often been considered a poor cousin to Australia. Similar relationships exist between Canada and the U.S., Austria and Germany, and South Korea and Japan. Outside the threat of North Korea most of the lesser sibling countries make little or no noise.
“To have a Tsunami you really need a much bigger geological event than a 7.8. Keep in mind that the Indian Ocean wave was caused by a 9.3 quake which is the second largest seismological event ever recorded. That was a quake and it’s no wonder it caused such a massive calamity. With this Kiwi quake, well no doubt a lot of
people were shaken up, literally and metaphorically, but a tsunami quake it was not and was never going to be. It just wasn’t going to happen,” said Scrape TV Science analyst Dr. Howard Poe. “New Zealand has always been a funny country. On the surface they reject immigration but love foreign visitors. They like their little out of the way country and then they go and make a big fuss like this. They don’t seem content in who they are and so lash out irrationally. They have a kind of schizophrenic identity. The same can be said for other countries in similar situations like Canada or Austria. Of course New Zealand hasn’t created an Adolf Hitler yet, or a John Candy for that matter. The best they’ve done is Russell Crowe which really isn’t saying much.”
Despite numerous aftershocks, waves on the New Zealand coast have barely crested past their normal height.