The southern island of New Zealand was struck yesterday shortly after midnight by a very strong earthquake of M 7.5 and a depth of 15 km (GeoNet).
Feeling in the two large islands, it was followed by a hundred replicas, the most intense of magnitude 6.2.
Large 2.5-meter tsunami waves hit Kaikoura. The height of the waves of this localized tsunami was 1 meter in Christchurch and 0.5 m. In Wellington.
The first record shows two killed, the other damage is being assessed, but road infrastructure has been affected by the collapse and landslides in North Canterbury.
These earthquakes involve several shallow inverse oblique faults located on or near the boundary between the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates.
At this location, the Pacific plate moves to the WSW at a rate of about 40 mm per year. The Kekerengu fault slipped more than 10 meters, the Hope fault underwent a minor movement, the Hundalee fault was also affected, and a new fault was identified at Waipapa Bay.
The peculiarity of the major earthquakes that hit New Zealand implies a break from one fault plane to another in a complex sequence ... already known during the Darfield episode in September 2010.
GeoNet - USGS Earthquake Hazards Program - ESCM - The Weather Network