7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

4 September 2010

Damaged car in Christchurch, September 2010 (BeckerFraserPhotos)

The earthquake struck at 4.35 a.m. on Saturday 4 September and was felt by many people in the South Island and the southern North Island. There was considerable damage in central Canterbury, especially in Christchurch, but no loss of life.

It was the largest earthquake to affect a major urban area since the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake (see 3 February). The epicentre was 37 km west of Christchurch near the town of Darfield. As a relatively shallow quake – about 10 km below the surface – it produced the strongest shaking recorded in New Zealand.

Few people sustained serious injuries, largely because of the time the quake occurred – most were in bed and the streets were largely deserted.

The people of Christchurch would not be so lucky a few months later when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck (see 22 February). This event occurred in the middle of the working day at 12.51 p.m. Central Christchurch was badly damaged, 185 people were killed and several thousand injured. This time the epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 km south-east of Christchurch’s central business district.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about 7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

What do you know?

admin

Posted: 06 Jun 2014

Hi James - this page on Te Ara should be able to help you: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/interactive/31151/darfield-earthquake Regards, Jamie Mackay

james

Posted: 03 Jun 2014

doesn't give me enough info for my project
I need to know what happens in a level 4,5,6,7 and 8 earthquake