The recent 7.1 earthquake in Canterbury, New Zealand has reportedly caused damage to 100,000 homes amongst a range of other problems in the South Island. Dave Petley, a researcher with IHRR and Durham University is currently in New Zealand attending a conference and is reporting on the size and magnitude of the earthquake from his blog. More than 80 aftershocks have been recorded, according to the BBC. There is concern from the public and scientists alike that they could experience another earthquake in the very near future. Earthquakes are generally not new to New Zealand, but it is unusual for the country to experience an earthquake of this magnitude. GeoNet, a geological hazard monitoring system in New Zealand, provides a list of the largest earthquakes that have occurred historically in New Zealand that gives some idea of when and where they occur: http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/historic-earthquakes/
The video below gives some scope of the damage of the earthquake, but this could perhaps only be the beginning as hazards that follow earthquakes, such as landslides, can be just as devastating. IHRR’s research programme ‘When the Shaking Stops’ is specifically designed to address hazards of this sort. A podcast about this research programme will be available soon.