Strong Earthquake Jolts Wellington

4.3 Wellington Quake

A magnitude 4.3 jolted the Wellington area at 5.27 this afternoon. This from

Reference Number 3580231
Universal Time September 16 2011 at 5:27
NZ Standard Time Friday, September 16 2011 at 5:27 pm
Latitude, Longitude 41.13°S, 174.69°E
Focal Depth 50 km
Richter magnitude 4.3
Region Wellington
  • 10 km west of Porirua
  • 20 km north of Wellington

The quake followed two larger earthquakes a 5.6 and a 6.0 in the sea off the northeast coast of the North Island. Read Two Large Earthquakes Off New Zealand (15 September 2011) There has been a lot of activity in the Kermadec trench recently, accompanied by earthquakes in Christchurch, Matata and now Wellington.

The Wellington Fault is New Zealand’s “most dangerous geological hazard” link. It is thought that the Māori legend of the formation of Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour) derives from an oral record of an early quake along this fault:

Ngake crashed into and through the rocks at Seatoun and headed out into the Strait. This was seen by Whataitai, who tried to follow Ngake out of the new entrance. The water was now running out of the lake, however, and Whataitai became stranded in the shallows. He stayed there for many generations before being lifted high onto the land by a great earthquake.” source

Today’s quake was widely felt by Wellingtonians and discussed on the TradeMe message boards

  • Lucky it was 50k deep. Not a contest but a 4 or 4.5 at 5k deep is the scary stuff! Hopefully no more to come for you guys.
  • Wooh that was a good sharp shake in Mt Vic. Heart in my mouth for a moment there! Coming from Christchurch that felt like it was going to keep going. Thank god it didn’t!

  • Felt here in Crofton Downs.Just a violent shake.Didn’t feel or hear that one coming.Scary.

  • Felt it in Porirua too – quite loud and sharp jolt

  • Felt in Mirimar
  •  Same, I got quite a fright

  • Am in Upper Hutt and am sure we just had a jolt?

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