Feb 14

Christchurch: 5.7 quake, 62 aftershocks:

There is a 63 percent chance another quake between magnitude 5 and 5.9 will strike Christchurch in the next year, after Sunday’s 5.7 quake increased the likelihood from 49 percent.

The quake – the largest in the city in four years – hit 15km east of the city at a depth of 15km at 1.13pm.

It hit with such force cliff faces crumbled, items fell off shelves and walls and liquefaction started bubbling. It shook the ground, and it shook people’s emotions – just eight days out from the five year anniversary of the February 22, 2011 quake which killed 185 people.

Only minor injuries were reported.

There were 62 aftershocks from when the 5.7 quake struck and 10pm, including a magnitude 4.2 quake at 6.27pm. More are expected in the coming days, and the quake has increased the likelihood of larger ones in the future.

It is likely a quake between magnitude 5 and 5.9 will strike in the next year, Geonet said.

It is very unlikely a quake larger than magnitude 6 will occur, and extremely unlikely a quake larger than magnitude 8 will occur.

The greatest concentration of earthquakes is expected in the next week.

The 5.7 quake was the largest in the city since a quake in May 2012, and was on par with what was felt in the city in December 2011, when a series of strong shocks, including a 5.8 struck, Geonet said.

While the peak ground acceleration measurement was 0.4g – enough for liquefaction to occur – it was significantly lower than the 2.2g experienced in the 6.3 February 2011 quake.

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