World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Off East Coast N.Z

Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake Off East Coast Of The North Island, N.Z

UPDATE: 10:01pm - Earthquake Magnitude revised to 6.6 by U.S. Geological SurveyMagnitude 6.8  Earthquake Off East Coast N.Z - Graphic Courtesy of  U.S. Geological Survey

An magnitude 6.6 earthquake occurred 40 km (25 miles) SSW of Gisborne, New Zealand, 90 km (55 miles) NE of Napier, New Zealand, 355 km (220 miles) SE of Auckland, New Zealand, 360 km (225 miles) NE of WELLINGTON, New Zealand at 12:55 AM MST, Dec 20, 2007 (8:55 PM local time in New Zealand). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size.

-- Courtesy United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center

UPDATE: 09:33pm - Earthquake Magnitude downgraded to 6.4 by U.S. Geological Survey

Thursday, December 20, 2007 at 08:55:17 PM at epicenter

Location 38.729°S, 178.362°E
Depth 33 km (20.5 miles) set by location program

Distances 31 km (19 miles) ESE (103°) from Gisborne, New Zealand

147 km (91 miles) NE (56°) from Napier, New Zealand
193 km (120 miles) ESE (111°) from Rotorua, New Zealand
378 km (235 miles) SE (124°) from Auckland, New Zealand
417 km (259 miles) NE (48°) from WELLINGTON, New Zealand

Location Uncertainty Error estimate not available
Parameters Nst=010, Nph=010, Dmin=423.8 km, Rmss=1.43 sec, Gp=158°,
M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=1

-- Courtesy US Geological Service

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 (UTC): 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
Location 50 km south-east of Gisborne
400 km south-east of Auckland

Felt widely, especially along east coast North Island

Tolaga Bay
Site Code: TBAS
MMI: 7
Time(NZST): 20/12/2007 20:55:31

MM 7: Damaging
General alarm. People experience difficulty standing. Furniture and appliances are shifted. Substantial damage to fragile or unsecured objects. A few weak buildings are damaged.


The size of an earthquake is often described using magnitude, which is the amount of energy released during an earthquake. However, not all of the energy released in an earthquake will necessarily be felt at the surface, depending on the earthquake's depth. In New Zealand, where earthquakes occur from near the surface right down to a depth of over 600 km, the Modified Mercalli intensity scale is a better indicator of an earthquake's effects on people and their environment.

The original Mercalli scale graded the effects of earthquakes into ten steps. The scale used in New Zealand is a twelve step ranking, hence Modified Mercalli (MM), with 1 representing the weakest of shaking, through to 12 representing almost complete destruction. The descriptions below are a simplified version of the New Zealand Modified Mercalli Intensity scale:

-- Courtesy GeoNet


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tigray: Eritrean Refugees ‘scared And Struggling To Eat’ Amid Aid Obstacles
For the first time in weeks, aid teams have reached refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, only to find that some Eritrean nationals living there have likely died of preventable diseases, while others are “scared and struggling to get enough to eat”, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Friday...

UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>

Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>