Earthquake in New Zealand – level 3

19-02-2016 15:00

Cliffs crumble into the sea, spreading clouds of dust in the hills, after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch in New Zealand.

The epicentre of Sunday’s quake in the country’s South Island was nine miles (14 kilometres) east of the city and just nine miles deep and has been deemed severe by New Zealand’s seismological body GNS Science. It struck just after 1 p.m. local time with beaches to the east of Christchurch busy with swimmers and surfers when rocks began to fall into the sea.

The region, which is used to earthquakes, and experienced 40 aftershocks, although police said there were no reports of major damage or serious injuries, but there were some reports of liquefaction. The city lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire which is a line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.

The latest tremor struck just eight days before the five-year anniversary of the 2011 quake, which led to a 185 deaths and left much of Christchurch City Centre needing to be rebuilt.

Difficult words: magnitude (strength), crumble (to fall down in pieces), epicentre (the place right above the centre of an earthquake), deem (to look on as), severe (very bad), seismological (relating to seismology – the branch of science about earthquakes), body (an organisation), liquefaction (when the ground turns soft and moves like water), tremor (a small earthquake), anniversary (the date on which something happened years ago).



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