Archive: Shaken Not Stirred 2010

Front Row Seat to the Japanese Tsunami

Jesse Dykstra Sep 30, 2011

The 11 March 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami in northeastern Japan caused nearly 30,000 deaths and damaged over 125,000 buildings. The Pacific plate shifted by up to 20 m, over a fault-rupture length of 300-400 km. The tsunami waves caused by this displacement overwhelmed Japanese tsunami defences (some tsunami walls were over 10 m high), in … Read More


E for Effort: The EQC Report Card (Part 2)

Jesse Dykstra Aug 30, 2011 How Has the EQC Performed Following the Canterbury Earthquakes? How would the EQC cope, when faced with the monumental task of managing nearly 400,000 claims from two major events in close succession? That was always going to be a tall order. Nearly one year on from the Greendale fault rupture, what can we say about the EQCs performance? Unsurprisingly, … Read More


E for Effort: The EQC Report Card (Part 1)

Jesse Dykstra Aug 30, 2011

MARTIN DE RUYTER/The Nelson Mail Perhaps it’s a good time to give the EQC a preliminary grade on their performance following the Canterbury earthquakes. After all, New Zealand homeowners pay EQC premiums every year to help ensure that our communities are able to recover from natural disasters. So, has the EQC met the expectations of the public that they serve? … Read More

Christchurch no More Risky than Wellington. But Does That Make a Good News Story?

Jesse Dykstra Jun 01, 2011

Wellington Faults. Source: GNS Science CERA Meeting Scares Media Some media outlets have put a rather negative spin on GNS Science’s most recent earthquake forecast for the central Canterbury region, which was discussed at a recent meeting of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA). GNS’s latest forecasting model estimates the probability of a “large” (magnitude 6.0 to 6.9) event occurring … Read More


Canterbury Earthquake Update: Aftershocks ‘exactly what we expected’

Jesse Dykstra Jan 27, 2011

Source: The Press In a recent Press Opinion piece, earthquake and tectonic expert Dr. Kevin Furlong explained the distribution of aftershocks following the Darfield earthquake, and why we shouldn’t be surprised by what we have learned, and felt, so far. His article can be viewed by clicking the following link:  Dr Furlong, Opinion piece. Kevin Furlong is a Professor of Geosciences at Penn … Read More


Queensland Flooding: “Australia’s Worst Natural Disaster”

Jesse Dykstra Jan 12, 2011

Flash Flooding in Toowoomba. Source: Reuters   Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have called the recent flooding in Queensland the “worst natural disaster in our history”. Three-quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone (source: Brisbane times). Flooding has affected over 200,000 people in the Fitzroy, Burnett, Condamine, Mary and Brisbane … Read More


Haiti – One Year On, Still in Ruin

Jesse Dykstra Jan 12, 2011

 Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images On 12 January, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck one of the world’s poorest nations, killing as many as 230,000 people, and leaving nearly 2 million homeless   The 2010 Haitia earthquake was one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. One year on from the earthquake that devastated Port … Read More

Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Human Vulnerability

Jesse Dykstra Jan 06, 2011

Is Climate Change the Greatest Modern Threat Facing Humankind? How many human lives have been lost as a direct result of global warming (anthropogenic or otherwise) over the past decade? Thousands? Tens of thousands? More? When extreme weather events result in natural disasters, we tend to immediately blame climate change. Three of the worst weather-related natural disasters of 2010, the Russian heat wave, flooding … Read More


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