Updated(2): 6.6 Earthquake rocks NZ, causes damage and power outages in Gisborne

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 21-Dec-2007 17:19

Edit: Apparently this earthquake was overrated slightly in magnitude, and was actually a 6.6.

I can also tell you that the GNS staff recieve a text message with the quake details automatically, then manually logon to their website and post the details.

A long, moderately severe 6.8 quake rocked the country tonight at 8.55pm, centered 50km southeast of Gisborne. Full details of this quake follow my commentary below...

Gisborne town centre is shut off, with police guards, and trucks blocking vehicle access into the CBD. A number of buildings have experienced severe structural damage.

My children live in Gisborne, and have informed me via phone that power is out, and moderate damage occured in their home.

Here in Hawkes Bay, it was a very long, very fluid rocking sensation, that had the water in the pool moving around like waves.

My kids are due to get on an Intercity bus tomorrow morning to come to the Hawkes Bay. If the buses arent running for any reason, I will drive up there to pick them up, and survey the damage for myself.

Please add a comment below if you felt this quake, stating where you are, and what it was like.

From http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/quakes/latest.html
Also see: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/at00476771.php

New Zealand Earthquake Report - Dec 20 2007 at 8:55 pm (NZDT)

Magnitude 6.8, Thursday, December 20 2007 at 8:55 pm (NZDT), 50 km south-east of Gisborne.
Quake Details

Information about this earthquake:
Reference Number: 2839343/G
Universal Time: December 20 2007 at 7:55
NZ Daylight Time: Thursday, December 20 2007 at 8:55 pm
Latitude, Longitude: 38.86°S, 178.52°E
Focal Depth: 40 km
Richter magnitude: 6.8
Region: Hikurangi Trough
* 50 km south-east of Gisborne
* 400 km south-east of Auckland

More information

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Comment by freitasm, on 20-Dec-2007 21:32

The "latest" GEONET link will roll out when the next quake comes in. Until we have the final unique URL, try this one for more information on the 6.8 QUAKE in the NZ North Island.

Comment by freitasm, on 20-Dec-2007 21:32

Felt in Wellingon, in some places for up to 40 seconds.

Comment by Liz, on 20-Dec-2007 21:40

wow 30 mins in, magma.geonet is still dead, and this is a more informative post that any of the news sites so far :/

Comment by curiouskiwi, on 20-Dec-2007 21:44

Felt here in Masterton... went on for about 2 minutes. I was upstairs in our house, and it was the strongest quake I'd ever felt.

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 20-Dec-2007 21:46

As of the time of this comment, power is still out. My children say the damage to possessions in their house in Gisborne is reasonably severe... TVs, computers, ornaments, display cabinets etc, all knocked over and damaged.

Comment by Karlos, on 20-Dec-2007 21:51

Just talked to the Fam, they said they couldn't stand up outside while it was going. There is alot of cracked concrete out at Wainui also. Large Pines tipped etc..Power is out. Excitement all round!

Comment by sylvester, on 20-Dec-2007 21:51

General judder felt on first floor flat in Central Wellington. First quake we have ever felt (new here) so can't comment on severity but it seemed quite gentle here.

Comment by Debbie, on 20-Dec-2007 21:53

My daughter and i live in wanganui we heard the rumble and felt this quake for a good 30-40 seconds. This quake was the strongest we have felt in a long time!

Comment by Carin Hercock, on 20-Dec-2007 21:53

My parents arrived in Gisborne tonight for Christmas. Had just gone to bed and were woken by the whole house rolling, smashing of glasses & vases. Not sure of the extent of the damage because they had no lights. They said there was no power, mobile phones not working, people in the streets & very scarey. They thought it must have caused a lot of damage in the Hawkes Bay which is where the thought it was centered, but sounds like that is not the case.

Comment by douglas george hood, on 20-Dec-2007 22:02

felt it - roof shaking - on Banks Peninsula outer bay of Otanerito

Comment by gary, on 20-Dec-2007 22:05

Felt at Kaiteriteri beach Motueka --very strong and lingered awhile:)

Comment by max, on 20-Dec-2007 22:06

In Hastings, the quake went on and on and on again, felt like good 45 seconds with the extra rumbles. BUT searching the net, this quake was predicted. wowowowo. Is there any reseach on how accurate this predictor has been? max. http://earthquakepredictionbytiempe.blogspot.com/2007_12_01_archive.html#2396564322843291440 .

Comment by Casey, on 20-Dec-2007 22:07

I am in rotorua and it felt like a long swaying motion

Author's note by tonyhughes, on 20-Dec-2007 22:08

Gisborne town centre is shut off, with police guards, and trucks blocking vehicle access into the CBD. A number of buildings have experienced severe structural damage.

Comment by Pete Bridgland, on 20-Dec-2007 22:13

Felt strongly in Wanganui. Ran on for a while.

Comment by Kathryn, on 20-Dec-2007 22:16

felt it strong in Opotiki rocking even the piano then rolling Was talking to my sister in Akaroa at same time and she felt it too

Comment by t rolfe, on 20-Dec-2007 22:17

lucky escape for staff of whitcoulls book store with roof framing collapse with patrons and staff being lucky to not have been injured or worst!

Comment by whainoa, on 20-Dec-2007 22:19

What a heck of a shake that was.....im residing in gisborne, it started of small then increased...minor damage in my home....thank goodness i had most of my electricals bolted down....altho the shake must of rocked my toilet bowl...water all over the place...

Comment by Matthew, on 20-Dec-2007 22:26

We felt it in Palmerston North, a long slow rocking to and fro, rattling the tinsel etc. Noises from outside as the buildings took the strain. Lasted about a minute and a half, gradually dying out.

Comment by Manu, on 20-Dec-2007 22:26

The walls in my house were bending and we couldnt stand up. Lots of stuff smashed. Worst iv ever felt. Lots of people heading to high ground.Gisborne.

Comment by Michael Towns, on 20-Dec-2007 22:29

I live in Gisborne and felt this very badly.

The entire house started shaking and everything unsecured fell over.

There are massive cracks in the concrete at the back of my house and my pool was slightly uplifted from the ground.

Comment by Matthew, on 20-Dec-2007 22:37

We felt it in Palmerston North, a long slow rocking to and fro, rattling the tinsel etc. Noises from outside as the buildings took the strain. Lasted about a minute and a half, gradually dying out.

Comment by vicki, on 20-Dec-2007 22:41

Hi there, well here in Whakatane that was a beauty. Having been through the Edgecumbe shake I really thought it had to be high on the scale. The shake must have lasted around 35 seconds was quite rolling.

Comment by murray, on 20-Dec-2007 22:54

felt in Christchurch, just a light rolling in the house, bit more than just a truck driving past. my home town is Gizzy, glad i'm not there!

Comment by Roy Montgomery, on 20-Dec-2007 22:54

Felt it in Lyttelton. On the second floor of an older brick building which gave a slight crack at first and then just tremored lightly for about fifteen seconds in that light earthquake way that deosn't so much scare as puzzle...

Comment by Kristina Stainton, on 20-Dec-2007 23:10

I live on the Gold Coast in Australia and was just speaking to my sister on the phone just after it happened. She is further up the East Coast north east of Gisborne in Hicks Bay. She said they had just gotten out of the car at our farm Tutumatai and the windows were shaking in the farm house. They are ok, all the best to everyone in Gisborne.

Comment by Kristina Stainton, on 20-Dec-2007 23:12

I live on the Gold Coast in Australia and was just speaking to my sister on the phone just after it happened. She is further up the East Coast north east of Gisborne in Hicks Bay. She said they had just gotten out of the car at our farm Tutumatai and the windows were shaking in the farm house. They are ok, all the best to everyone in Gisborne.

Comment by Shaun, on 20-Dec-2007 23:20

In Gizzy up a hill, broken cups and plates all over the kitchen floor, both TV's are stuffed after reasonable fall's, kids bedroom drawer sets fell over (luckily no one hurt), fridge moved about 2 foot, bed moved about a foot, office an absolute write off with folders, computers, paper work everywhere and seems as though my keyboard needs replacing (doing strange things) as one of my screens landed on it, water from the toilet over the floor. All shaken but safe.

Comment by Heather Mutch, on 20-Dec-2007 23:20

My Mum lives in Gisborne and turns 93 tomorrow I hope she didn't get too much of a scare. Luckily family live round the corner so they will check a.s.a.p. Just pray no-one was hurt....

Comment by Aaron nikora, on 20-Dec-2007 23:22

Farrrr, i was at the Warehouse shopping with my family when the floor started to shake, and then shelves started swaying...freaky as!!!! Shampoos and lollies and chocolates went everywhere, everyone stopped shoppin and headed for the doors, and off home. On the way home we saw two shop roofs had caved in. Im born n bred in Gizzy and have never felt anything anywhere near this quake, and hopefully will never again.

Comment by Ali Cottis, on 20-Dec-2007 23:29

Hi. We felt it quite noticably in Marton (between wanganui and palmy nth). Water in my cup sloshing everywhere and our christmas cards haning in the arch way all swaying. Felt like it went on for a good 2 mins. Also lights swaying lots. My husband's family is in Gisborne. His sisters pool had the water chucked and sloshed out of it. My mother in laws house not good with cabinets and stuff on the floor. Things toppled over. Everyone safe though. News people covered it quite well too...

Comment by sonja, on 20-Dec-2007 23:38

We were waiting for pizza on the main street when the whole earth began shaking. It actually took a few seconds before we realised what was really happening! My partner said "Its an earthquake" I was sort of stunned and then realised we were standing undernearth a large awning, I suddenly felt a sense of urgency to get out from under there and go out on the street. It was just amazing, as we ran onto the street the awning across the road crached onto the side walk. Buildings around cracking and breaking. It was so bizarre watching them rub against each other and the sound the sound that it was making. Incredible, I will never forget it...

Comment by rscole86, on 20-Dec-2007 23:48

I was at work in Johnsonville, Wellington. Hardly felt a thing! I noticed the monitor move and that was about it.

Comment by Macky, on 21-Dec-2007 00:16

Im in gizzy and i have 2 say that that was the scarest thing that has ever happend to me.I was sitting on my bed with my brother and sister when i felt the bed shaking then the lights went out and i started screaming with my sister lol.then we all went to see family and friends and every one was speeding around like mad.

Comment by Ed, Thai Sunshine, on 21-Dec-2007 00:28

i was driving to deliver food for my customer, then my car stated to swing i was thinking that i have a flat tire. How the heck i got a flat tire??? Then i pulled my car to the side of the road and walked around to check if i got a flat tire or not, my though i was puzzled how could it be car sick??? Then there was a big "bang" noise and people on the street started to screem. So now i realise that it was an earthquake. After I drop my package, went back to the restaurant. Most of the bottled spirit are on the floor and glasses are broken. i will never forget it again and i wish it will not happen again Ed Thaisunshine

Comment by Nelly, on 21-Dec-2007 00:34

Have i got a story to tell you, well i was playing guitar hero 3 with my cousin and we were on the last level -teardrop- man we were rocking and then thats when the rolling part started... 00. The power went off and then i told my cousin to get under the table and then i did aswell, unfortunately a chair fell on me and then i got under the table and my cousin clung on to me and started crying like a sissy (might i mention hes a boy thats 18! -_-") anyways my dad was freaking out and my mum just woke up and she was calm and telling my dad to calm down and stop freaking all of us out. After that we went outside and everyone was leaving to Kaiti hill because they thought that a tsunami was gonna hit old gizzy. So we got into our car and left to town, as we went past the shops and streets people were huddling in small groups, shops and buildings were severly torn apart and massive traffic jams. We got up Kaiti Hill eventually and then we listened to the radio and we even called the police! After about 20 min of worrying and panicking it was yet FALSE TSUNAMI. We got back home and our toilet is currently "out of order" so maybe we could dig up an hole and use our toilet paper and if we run out maybe even leaves. Wow...never expected that aye, they should have some kind of warning system before it happens i mean come on. AND FOR NZ'Z INFO WE GOT IT BAD OK, OK REPHRASE THAT...THE WORST OF IT >:( BYE

Comment by CC, on 21-Dec-2007 01:35

well this is my story. Ok well i was in the living room watching criminal minds with ma dad when the place started shaking hard out and the power turned off. when it started i thought i was jst imagining it but the the lights when out and thats when my sisters started screamin in the room while my lil bro was tellin the to shut up (thats not actually wat he said but i dnt want 2 swear on this, i might get in trouble lol), and my mum was in the kitchen freakin out and tryin to get to my sisters 2 see if they were ok, and as all this is goin on me and my dad were jst sittin there, him drinkin his cup of tea which was funny coz on my mums way 2 ma sisters and lil bro my mum was like grabbin on to my dad, anyway i was sittin there thinkin that this totally rocked so i thought it would b even cooler 2 stand up so i did but then i remembered i had a headache and me shakin wasnt helpin so i just sat on the floor. so all through this ma older bro was in his room freakin out, swearing probably, coz he was playin final fantasy 7 and was about to get clouds last limit break on disc 1 when the power went out so he didnt really care there was an earthquake he jst wanted play his game. when the earthquake stopped my mum wanted 2 make sure my cuz tui was alrite so we went ova there (she lives around the corner) and she was totally freaked out especially coz the truck nearly backed up onto her 3 year old girl, so she grabed her and ran inside with her hubby 2 check on their otha baby but she had slept through the whole thing and when she woke up she said she had a dream of eatin cake and lollies which made us all laugh.

Comment by Steve Barnes, on 21-Dec-2007 15:24

Nice post from CC 00:35 You should realy think about writing for Shortland St or money even. ;-) That was exelent.

Comment by gizzychik, on 13-Jan-2008 18:42

I live in Gizzy. The night of the earthquake it was one of our only late night shopping nights in Gisborne for Xmas. Me and staff members were still at work (CBD) having our Xmas Secret Santa and Drinks out the back in our store room. So yeah I was pretty drunk when it hit. At first when the earthquake started, I thought 'woah we're having an earthquake' and then it proceeded to get more violent & rocky that you couldn't stand still. All the power went out and all business alarm systems were going berserk. We ran into the showroom where the water sprinkler system had burst, and it was like pouring down with rain in our shop. I was standing not far from a hanging roof that was in our shop that collapsed smashing tv's and other stock, by then we all decided that it was time to get outta there. We locked up ran out onto Grey Street where the roof by Health 2000 had only just collapsed minutes before, so that was the first thing we saw and I wondered if the rest of Gisborne looked like that LOL? It was pitch black in town with people running around the streets still in shock. Cop cars and fire engines were buzzing through town, it was like a movie scene. It was some scary s#%t alright.

Comment by Ashleigh, on 1-Apr-2008 10:03

that was so sad ! : ( glad i wasn`t there .. love to all - god bless :) xox

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