EUROPEAN COMMISSION

JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE

13 Nov 2016 20:00 CET

Mw 7.8 Earthquake and Tsunami in New Zealand
GDACS Tsunami Orange Alert
13 Nov 2016

Fig. 1 - Area of the Earthquake with indication of the maximum ground acceleration

1 Executive Summary
On November 13th 2016 a large ​Mw 7.8​ earthquake occurred at 1
​ 1:02 UTC​, i.e. 12:02 AM local
time, at a depth of 23 km in the area north of Christchurch, in the southern island of N
​ ew
Zealand. The epicentre was located 53 km North-North East of ​Amberley. ​ A large deformation
zone occurred of length 125 km and width 35 km that caused quite some destruction and
injuries, as reported in from number of cities and villages but no fatalities has been reported so

occurred as the result of shallow oblique-reverse faulting on or near the boundary between the Pacific and . GDACS issued an ​Orange​ alert for the event indicating a possible Tsunami of 2 m.1​ S ​ ituation Fig.far.0 m​ along the coasts. 2 Situation Overview 2.Shake map indicating the areas mostly affected The November 13.5-2. As a consequence of the earthquake a Tsunami was also generated that generated waves of up to ​1. 2 . A detailed analysis is under way.8 earthquake in North Canterbury. New Zealand. The Copernicus Emergency Rapid Mapping service has been pre-activated by the ERCC few hours after the event but the actual activation is on hold for the moment. 2016 M 7.

including C ​ ulverden a ​ rea and Kaikoura ​but a precise indication of the damages is not yet known. Media report r​eports of injuries from the earthquake area.List of regions estimated mostly affected The regions mostly affected are Canterbiry. Several roads around the South Island were closed and damage to power and phone networks was reported. Nelson-Mariborough and Weilington. Probably as the day will come the situation will be more clear.Australia plates in South Island. Pictures shared on social media showed buckled roads.e. moderate damage). New Zealand. all subject to category VII of shaking. 4a . 3 . According to the estimated shake map. 14000 people have been subject to an intensity ​VII​ of the Modified Mercalli scale (i. The list below indicates the estimated locations mostly affected by the earthquake. smashed glass and goods toppled from shelves in shops in Wellington and the upper South Island. Fig. The regions mostly affected are indicated below. 4b . c​ ausing widespread damage and generating a tsunami.South Island road (BBC) Fig. Fig.Some debris Wellington (BBC) . indicating the expected damage.

the blue triangle in the map at the right.3 m​ followed but another increase of about ​2 m​. 2. located about 50 km North West from the epicentre. A tsunami was indeed measured. the fact that the event occurred in a period of low tide should have allowed a lower impact. In terms of damage. is shown in the plot below. It is interesting to note that the sea level is following the tide with about ​1.2 Tsunami Generation The event caused a Tsunami being generated along the coast of New Zealand because even if the epicentre was located on-land. as indicated by the sea level measured in Kaikoura​. 5 . 6. despite the relatively low magnitude.List of locations estimated mostly affected The area is the same that was hit by a Mw.Fig. .3 earthquake in 2011 that caused 185 fatalities. The large number of victims in that case was determined by the large soil liquefaction that caused entire buildings to fall down. T ​ housands of people along New Zealand's east coast fled their homes to head for higher ground as emergency services warned of destructive waves of up to five meters in some areas. the distance from the coast was limited and part of the deformation occurred under water.7​ m of amplitude and suddenly the sea level decreases of about ​-2.

O ​ ver the next five days.Kaijoura Sea Level Station measurements The Tsunami was also measured in Wellington. including ​heavy rains​ and s ​ trong winds​ could affect many regions of .Wellington Sea Level Station measurements 2. on the other island but the amplitude there was smaller. Fig. 7 . 6 .2​ H ​ umanitarian impact At the moment injuries but no casualty has been reported by media. severe weather.Fig.

8 Earthquake . The final estimation of the maximum height on the coast has been ​70 cm​ in Oaro. including the areas affected by the earthquake. 8 . 7. The first estimation is performed using the pre-recorded Tsunami scenario but then online calculations are performed using the real epicentre and magnitude.Estimated maximum height on the coast due to the Mw. as a series of active low pressure troughs and associated fronts could pass over the country (See Appendix A) 3 JRC involvement 3.1​ G ​ DACS alert The Global Disasters Alerts and Coordination System identified the event 9 minutes after the event and classified the event as ​Orange​ alert because the estimated wave height was larger than 1 m. Goose Bay (​60 cm​) and Kaikura (​40 cm​).New Zealand. Fig.

The analysis of this event is quite complicated by several factors and in particular: . The analysis shows that almost immediately there were messages reporting Earthquake and New Zealand and about 30 min after also the word Tsunami was extensively mentioned.Twitter monitoring in GDACS 3. One of the pages in GDACS contains the analysis of the Twitter messages.The alert has been sent to all the 22000 users registered in GDACS. the JRC provides situation reports for Red alerts in GDACS. .2​ S ​ upport to ERCC As part of the Administrative Arrangement with DG ECHO. 9 . given the large magnitude of the event a dedicated report is prepared and provided to ERCC.The fact that the epicentre appears very far from the center of the deformation area At this moment it is not possible to have a proper comparison between measurements and calculations.The fact that the epicentre is very close to the coast and even on-land. much earlier than the event was identified as a Tsunami alert. in this case. . Fig.

de-groeve@ec.eu/ -​ ​Copernicus:​ ​http://emergency.3​ C ​ opernicus activation ERCC requested a ​pre-activation of Copernicus EMS for the urban areas between Christchurch and ​Wellington .1​ E ​ RCC Emergency ERCC is following the events in close collaboration with the local ECHO offices. 6 References and contact points within JRC Contact points within JRC: Disaster Risk Management Unit .copernicus.org -​ ​ERCC portal:​ ​http://erccportal.ec. as well as the regions of possible Tsunami impact. 4. The decision to have an activation has not yet been taken and the analysis of the ongoing reports is under way.europa. focussing on the epicentres of the main Earthquake and the aftershock in the other areas along the coastal regions.Tom De Groeve.2 UCPM activation N/A 5 Expected Updates An updated version of the report will be developed tomorrow if important changes to the situation will be shown.ec.eu .Pamela Probst.annunziato@jrc.3.eu . ​tom.Alessandro Annunziato. the EEAS or other institutional stakeholders 4.europa.Ian Clark.jrc.europa.clark@ec.europa.eu .eu .eu For updated information on the disaster. please consult the following web sites: -​ ​GDACS:​ ​www.europa. ​pamela. ​alessandro.gdacs.ec.probst@jrc. 4 Involvement with other services of the European Commission. ​ian.

Annex 1 . The areas possibly affected are shown in the figure below (local time).Weather forecast for the next few days Over the next five days. Strong winds could also start affecting Wellington​.com/warnings/severe-weather-warnings . Buller and northwest Nelson. Severe weather warning in effect (​ MetService .metservice. More information are in: ​http://www. 13 Nov evening) A front is forecasted to pass over the South Island late Monday and early Tuesday. Heavy rain is forecasted for w ​ estern areas of South Island ​from Monday afternoon. Buller and Westland north of Fox Glacier Heavy rain are expected to affect these areas from Monday afternoon until Tuesday morning (150-200 mm of rain in 18 h. severe weather. ● STRONG WIND WARNING​: Wairarapa. with the risk of flash floods. with ​gusts up to 140km/h​ in exposed places from Monday evening to Tuesday morning. especially in the areas of Westland. Wellington and Marlborough Northwest winds are expected to rise to severe gale Monday evening. including ​heavy rains and ​strong winds could affect several areas of New Zealand. 100-150mm near the coast). preceded by heavy thundery rain and northerly gales.New Zealand. as a series of active low pressure troughs and associated fronts could pass over the country. ​Marlborough​ and ​Wairarapa ​on Monday evening. including the areas affected by the earthquake. The following warnings are in effect (local time): ● HEAVY RAIN WARNING​: Northwest Nelson.

Figure A.metservice.com/warnings/severe-weather-outlook . source: MetServie .New Zeland http://www.1 .Severe weather outlook.