Earthquake Hits New Zealand’s North Island – Caught On Camera – 20 Jan 2014
Photo credit Strong Earthquake Shakes New Zealand’s Capital – weather.com
A moderatly strong earthquake shook the lower part of New Zealand’s North Island on Monday, rattling buildings and according to published reports, knocking out power for some people in the region.
The 6.3-magnitude quake’s epicenter was about 71 miles northeast of Wellington, the country’s capital, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated. It hit at a depth of about 7 miles, the agency said.
It struck just before 4 p.m. and what followed was a series of weaker aftershocks.
Published on Jan 20, 2014
Earthquake Hits New Zealand’s North Island – Caught On Camera – 20 January 2014
A strong earthquake shook the lower part of New Zealand’s North Island on Monday, rattling buildings and knocking out power for thousands of people.
It also caused a giant, hanging sculpture of an eagle that evokes a scene from “The Hobbit” to fall to the ground in one of the country’s main airports.
The 6.2-magnitude quake’s epicenter was about 110 kilometers (70 miles) northeast of Wellington, the country’s capital, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Initially estimated at magnitude 6.3, the earthquake hit at a depth of about 28 kilometers (17 miles), the agency said.
It struck the earthquake-prone country just before 4 p.m. and was followed by a series of weaker aftershocks.
There were no immediate reports of casualties. But the quake cut off electricity for about 5,600 people in the mainly rural region north of Wellington, said energy network operator Powerco.
All trains on the rail network in the lower part of the North Island were halted while inspectors checked tracks for damage, the state-owned transportation company KiwiRail said. Falling rocks were also reported on some roads.
Giant eagle brought down
The earthquake was felt at Wellington Airport, where it shook a sculpture of a great eagle loose from some of its suspending lines, bringing it sinking down to the floor of the main terminal building.
The bird is one of two huge eagle sculptures, installed in the terminal building last month, that draw their inspiration from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second part of a trilogy of movies filmed in New Zealand.
One of the roughly one-ton birds has a model of the movie character Gandalf, a wizard, riding on its back. But it was the other eagle that was brought down to earth by the quake, said Greg Thomas, a spokesman for the airport.
The area around the eagles has been cordoned off, he said.
New Zealand’s tourism industry has benefited from and sought to capitalize on the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies, which were adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien books and filmed against the backdrop of some of the country’s striking landscapes.
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