A weekend of earthquakes for Bay of Plenty

Published: Sun Aug 30 2020 2:30 AM

Some people in Auckland and Bay of Plenty had an early morning wake up this weekend with a M5.2 earthquake occurring 120km north-east of Whangamata Saturday morning.

The earthquake occurred Sat 29th August 2020 at 3:47AM, we received over 2500 felt reports, from Auckland down to Whakatane.

Felt reports from the M5.2 earthquake

Felt reports from the M5.2 earthquake

Since the mainshock we have located over 80 aftershocks, the largest we have recorded were a M4.6 Saturday evening 29-08-20 and a M4.7 Sunday morning 30-08-20 both events were felt in the Bay of Plenty, up to Auckland.

Aftershocks located following the M5.2 earthquake

Aftershocks located following the M5.2 earthquake

The shaking has been unnerving for those in Auckland and the Coromandel as earthquakes are not common in these areas. As you can see in the image below, showing 20 years of located earthquakes, only a handful have been in the Auckland area. Of this handful of events, people may remember two in 2013 that made the news for shaking the greater Auckland region and a swarm of quakes that occurred in Northland in early 2019.

Maps showing 20 years of earthquakes in New Zealand and the Auckland region.

Maps showing 20 years of earthquakes in New Zealand and the Auckland region.

Although earthquakes in the Auckland / Northland region are uncommon, we must remember that earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Zealand. Even sizable earthquakes can occur in places that historically have low places of seismic activity, Canterbury and Christchurch are a somber, but good example of this.

Remember in an earthquake to Drop, Cover and Hold

Drop, Cover and Hold

Drop, Cover and Hold

And if you feel a long or strong earthquake, or receive a tsunami warning alert, get to higher ground immediately. NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) have a great website with information on what to do before, during and after an earthquake. And the Earthquake Commission (EQC) have a helpful website with information on how to get your home, apartment, or rental prepared for a natural disaster.

Media contact: 021 574 541 or media@gns.cri.nz