Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Nobody wanted #EQNZ for Christmas

694 Responses

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  • Hebe, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Joe, those pics make me sad. I'm over resilience. That may be the result of very weird Christmas: half the day in ED with my youngest after he passed out while visiting an old relly in hospital; home for a good few hours of food prep then dysfunction dinner by the sea. Glad its over; boxing day was lovely. Sounds tragic when I write it but more like a black comedy. We're planning a New Year's Eve feast to make up for it all.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    Jeez Hebe, I trust your youngest's over it now. All the best for a relaxed & resilience-free New Year.

    Yesterday was beautiful, just like today. No cutting easterly at the beach, but hardly anyone there. Even the lifeguard commented that she was hardly needed.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Joe, or anyone, do you know if the beaches are OK for swimming? I know they were Ok before Friday, but not sure about now...

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Here's an interesting I got from the comments on interest.co.nz:

    by speckles | 23 Dec 11, 7:49pm
    I was in a city board room
    I was in a city board room full of structural engineers when the EQs hit this afternoon, they provided an interesting commentary and are the most calm people to be around during an EQ. Their calmness is catching.

    Upon reflection I do wonder if we should stay given the effect on our children.

    We divested financially after Feb. as the reports all provided a concensus in findings . As a couple we have seen the main reports that were released and discussed them in depth, they all have a similar theme, regular six EQs will likely occur for approx. five years with increased activity for twenty-thirty years.

    We have this built into our expectations and considered carefully before deciding to stay . To keep people positive it appears the media have been asked not to disclose or are not aware of the reports commissioned?

    The bank economist comments make me wonder if the embargo of non disclosure to the masses is starting to break.

    I mentioned these reports without the details earlier this year for those interested to investigate and decided for themselves with the advantage of having information before it hits the mainstream.

    Suspect the debate is going mainstream so decided to be a little more explicit for the benefit for those in Canterbury who may read this. The experience todate has always suggested this was going to be a long hard road.

    All the best.

    Anyone have more info on these reports? I have long suspected the powers-that-be have strangled the geologists' reports on the quake outlook .

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    I think they are okay but I would caution that the pipeline off South Brighton seems to be right in line with some of the epicentres. So use your nose and treat it on a hour by hour basis. The harbour or more northern becahes might be better.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    Lilith:

    . . . do you know if the beaches are OK for swimming?

    I’ve heard nothing official, people were certainly surfing yesterday.

    Hebe:

    I have long suspected the powers-that-be have strangled the geologists’ reports on the quake outlook .

    Interesting stuff, thanks for posting.
    Given the way that property values and the projected payouts have obviously played a part in what gets red zoned, that sounds entirely reasonable.

    Every time there’s a major shake I’m just glad that I’m past that stage of life where littler people would need to look to me for reassurance.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Every time there’s a major shake I’m just glad that I’m past that stage of life where littler people would need to look to me for reassurance

    Yes. that is the most heart-wrenching of all. My 13yr olds are not little but some days what they are enduring tears me up inside. I am seriously questioning whether it's fair to kepp them here and put them through life on this side of town.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    We divested financially after Feb. as the reports all provided a concensus in findings . As a couple we have seen the main reports that were released and discussed them in depth, they all have a similar theme, regular six EQs will likely occur for approx. five years with increased activity for twenty-thirty years.

    We have this built into our expectations and considered carefully before deciding to stay . To keep people positive it appears the media have been asked not to disclose or are not aware of the reports commissioned?

    The bank economist comments make me wonder if the embargo of non disclosure to the masses is starting to break.

    This is interesting, but it’s hearsay. It’s an unknown commenter of unknown background summarising something they say they’ve read. And I’m confused when they talk about “reports released” but then it sounds like they mean “not to the public”. It sounds like conspiracy-talk to me.

    AFAIK all predictions for seismic activity for the next few years are based on statistical modelling which is based on inadequate data. Humans just haven’t been here long enough.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Just a thought; is anyone else a little unsettled by the way Christmas consumption has now extended beyond December 24, into the post-Christmas week. Boxing Day might be better named Buying Day. All this consumption is portrayed by the media as A Good Thing but there is no more a depressing sight than customers rummaging through half-price Christmas baubles on December 26.
    Is it a commentary on significant shifts in NZ society?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Hebe,

    As a couple we have seen the main reports that were released and discussed them in depth, they all have a similar theme, regular six EQs will likely occur for approx. five years with increased activity for twenty-thirty years.

    As Lilith says, this is a very odd comment. I can't make sense of what the anonymous writer is even trying to say, which suggests to me that they don't know what they're talking about (or can't properly express what they actually mean to say).

    I believe that I've read all the publicly-released reports on this topic and that's certainly not what they appear to be saying to me. I've also personally quizzed seismologist Mark Quigley on the subject. Perhaps the anonymous writer is confused about interpreting the statistics?

    Even allowing for what the anonymous writer appears to be claiming, the likelihood of future magnitude 6 shakes mean nothing on it's own. As we all well know by now, the destructive impact depends mainly on the depth and proximity to populace.

    I can see why any scientist would use careful language when talking about this topic; it would be easy to make the situation much worse by some out-of-control scaremongering.

    Let's remember that there were no fatalities at all in the June and December quakes.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    I've seen talk of detailed seismic forecasts being released only to the insurance and financial sector. There was publicity earlier in the year about Brownlee refusing to release geotech data to homeowners and their representatives, but being more than happy to hand it to re/insurers. I'm sure there are arguments in favour of that, just as there are for more openness.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sacha,

    My understanding too.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    Perhaps our dilemma is that whoever was in Brownlee's position would be driven to politicise the significance of 'geotech' data, simply because people crave reassurance, and knowledge is power. It would appear that a great deal has been learned since September 2010, but nowhere near enough to provide the kind of political advantage implied by the possession of 'geotech' info.

    I think most people realise this, but Brownlee's penchant for drawing political capital from each new major shake doesn't help, especially when he implies that he's better informed than his critics.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I find the greed you mention nauseating, but I reckon many, many more of us don't go to the boxing day sales. I have a personal rule that I never go to a mall at all in December and shop as much at small local-ish stores as possible. That has been more of a challenge this year but we did achieve it. (I wouldn't expect anyone else to follow that BTW; I prefer to avoid malls and shop local if I can anyway. For many it would be an impossible ask).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2442 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Hearsay gossip: someone mentioned recently that Chch area may have a fairly rare phenomenon; a complex web of faults, such that one event triggers others, which in turn put tensions on others…. and it can go on for years.
    I didn’t quiz them, and I don’t know the source. Only mention it because it might fit with what the anonymous poster on interest.co.nz seemed to be saying. And we have discovered (and are discovering) a bunch of faults to east, west and south of the city.
    They do seem to keep pinging, but they were quiet for centuries, too, so I imagine nothing is certain. Just the usual simple pattern of large quake, and a series of diminishing aftershocks, doesn’t quite fit.
    No word of any ‘secret reports’.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1353 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Wouldn't it just be about the way the govt treats the power of international banking and insurance corporates compared with most NZ citizens? With a separate side of local pork.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    Wouldn’t it just be about the way the govt treats the power of international banking and insurance corporates . . .

    As in “Is that an aftershock in the geological or insurance sense of the term?”

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    "who is holding the biggest stash/stick?"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    “who is holding the biggest stash/stick?”

    The Alpine Fault?
    "If the Alpine Fault went and we had further damage to houses, not only have we got upset people, but we are going to have a whole lot of insurance companies looking at us saying, ’What sort of banana republic have we got here?”’
    Roger Sutton, feeding the stereotype that engineers are among those least likely to practice intentional irony.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    IF THE ALPINE FAULT WENT-
    (I live 20k from it) on the Coast
    you will get a plus 9 here and unimaginable damage locally. Widespread tsunami in the west and also
    total destruction of most human-built structures, and extraordinary damage throughout the south-

    will happen

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Islander,

    Yeah, the Alpine Fault is in New Auckland Volcano territory (except for being in the middle of Auckland.) It had been assumed - prior to September - that when a seriously destructive earthquake hit Christchurch, the Alpine Fault would be the cause, and that there would be damage across the South Island. Assuming it doesn't happen in the immediate future, at least Christchurch might survive that one better - if the rebuilding is done with that in mind. Which it bloody well should be.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'm not taking the side of the insurance companies...but without the reinsurers, we'd all be uninsured now. We do need them. I can understand our officials being keen to keep them onside.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3300 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Certainly. Likewise our dependence on the Australian banks, etc.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    The reports should all say the same thing. Aftershocks follow a logarithmic decay curve on the standard scales, it's just a matter of fitting that curve to what's happened in Christchurch.

    Basically though, -15% in the last 15 months means -15% in the next 15 months, so down to about 5.1 maximum by March 2013, and then 4.3 by June 2014 (which everyone can sleep through). It's a shallow fault system, so they'll stay shallow, but this should be the last liquefaction event, or last-but-one.

    More interesting is what these tiddlers all do to the alpine fault (which isn't going to be a 9 or anything silly, around 8.3, quite deep, big rolling waves for 2-4 minutes, feel about like a local 5.5 in Dunedin or Christchurch, IIRC). Probably very little, it's somewhere around 1% per annum anyway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 337 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Aftershocks follow a logarithmic decay curve on the standard scales

    I’d qualify that slightly: aftershocks from one event follow a logarithmic decay curve. It doesn’t quite work that way when you have several interacting faults.

    Hang on, I’m going off to try plotting data from Japan since March (since I have that to hand). I can say at this stage that, for the Japan dataset,
    (i) a plot of (log # quakes) vs magnitude (which is a log scale to begin with) is roughly linear.
    (ii) a simple plot of (log # quakes) vs time is not linear.
    … Maybe I should be trying to calculate (log total energy release) vs time.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 808 posts Report Reply

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