In New Zealand – Medium strength earthquake May 5, 2023: This is the current situation for a 5.6 level earthquake

In New Zealand – Medium strength earthquake May 5, 2023: This is the current situation for a 5.6 level earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck 78 km northeast of Wakatani, New Zealand. Find out all the details about the event here.

Iconic image: An undersea earthquake shakes a coastal town Photo: Photo Alliance/Yasar Antar/AFP/DBA | Left Antar

On Friday, May 5, 2023, at 1:37 pm, an undersea earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale occurred. But what does this classification actually mean and what values ​​can be used to classify an earthquake more accurately?

What do we currently know about the marine earthquake?

The earthquake spread into the sea, 78 km northeast of Whakatane, New Zealand It happened. The following cities are located in the immediate vicinity of the earthquake:

  • t kahaDistance from the epicenter: 62 km, 340 inhabitants
  • rococore: 66 km from the epicenter
  • Omayo: 67 km from the epicenter
  • Wangaparawa: 72 km from the epicenter
  • Hawaii: 74 km from the epicenter

On the Richter scale, the earthquake is rated at 5.6. In addition to this scale, there are other details that can be useful when evaluating a natural event. The origin of a marine earthquake eruption, for example, is important for assessing earthquake intensity. The event, located 78 kilometers northeast of Whakatane, New Zealand, is currently believed to be 195 kilometers deep. This value also influences marine earthquake intensity values, which vary from place to place due to various other factors, but can still be recorded as a maximum. A distinction is made between experience and estimated severity. While the former is captured by concretely reported values, the latter is the intensity estimated by measuring instruments. The same values ​​are also based on the Richter scale. For the current event, a maximum of 4.1 was reported as the experienced density and a maximum of 3.548 as the estimated density.

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How accurate is this information about the marine earthquake near New Zealand?

The total number of seismic stations used to locate an earthquake gives an indication of the accuracy of the measurements. For this earthquake, the number is average, which means that current knowledge about the earthquake can be rated as moderately accurate with respect to other measurements. The accuracy rating is supplemented by the distance between adjacent stations. In general, the smaller this is, the more reliable the calculated horizontal position of the earthquake. In the present case, this distance is relatively small, which is why quake positioning can be considered very reliable.

Quick Check: A quick overview of the most important details

Seaquake: New Zealand
position: 78 km northeast of Whakatane, New Zealand
Coordinates: Latitude = -37.287 degrees and Longitude = 177.271 degrees
Places within a radius of 100 km: Te Kaha, Rokocore, Omayo, and Wangaparaawa, Hawaii
Magnitude: 5.6
Accuracy: average accuracy
reliability: Very reliable
Depth: 195 kilometers
Experienced intensity: 4.1
rated intensity: 3,548
Notification time: 5/5/2023 – 1:37 PM

What does the Richter scale mean for a marine earthquake?

In the 1930s, seismologist Charles Francis Richter laid the foundation for the Richter scale, which is used around the world today. It makes it possible to make statements about the strength of earthquakes and marine earthquakes using magnitude – a term that comes from the Latin word “magnitudo” (magnitude). To determine the magnitude of an earthquake, the shaking is measured using a seismometer. To do this, it is necessary to know the distance between the measuring station and the source of the earthquake. The largest movement on Earth, the maximum deflection (amplitude), is read from the seismometer’s graphic representation – the seismogram. This amplitude plus distance gives the magnitude. To make it easier to read the deviations on a seismogram, Richter introduced a logarithmic scale. An earthquake of magnitude 7 is 10 times greater than a magnitude of 6 on the Richter scale, 100 times greater than a magnitude of 5, and 1000 times greater than a magnitude of 4 on the Richter scale.

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An overview of the Richter scale for earthquakes

Richter magnitudes Classification of earthquake strength earthquake impact Frequency of events around the world
<2.0 microscopic Small earthquakes, not felt 8000 x per day (of scale 1.0)
2.0 to 3.0 Extremely light Generally it is not observable, but it is measured 1500 times a day
3.0 to 4.0 very easy It is often noticed, and damage is rare 135 times a day
4.0 to 5.0 a light Objects in the room move clearly, vibration sounds, and mostly no damage 35 times a day
5.0 to 6.0 Medium strength Major damage to vulnerable buildings, no minor damage to strong buildings 4.5 times a day, 1600 times a year
6.0 to 7.0 strong Destruction within a radius of up to 70 km 130 times annually
7.0 to 8.0 big destroy large areas 13 times a year
8.0 to 9.0 Very large Devastation in areas of several hundred kilometers 0.9x annually
9.0 to 10.0 extra large Thousands of miles of destruction 4 times in 122 years (1952/60/64, 2011)
more than 10 global catastrophe It was never recorded, and is believed to be an earthquake measuring 11 on the Richter scale 66 million years ago, caused by an asteroid impact in Yucatan. 1 x 66 million years

Prior to the introduction of the Richter scale, other seismographs were used, for which Richter values ​​do not transfer well, and thus cannot be used to transmit earthquakes measured before they were introduced. However, since measurements using this scale began, there have been at least five documented earthquakes of magnitude 9 or higher. These have occurred in Russia (1952), Chile (1960), Alaska (1964), Indonesia (2004) and Japan (2011). The earthquake that caused devastating damage in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023 had a value of 7.8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake caused a huge number of deaths, which cannot be definitively determined at the moment.

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+++ Editorial note: This text was automatically generated based on current data from the USGS (US Geological Survey). The USGS last sent an event update on May 6, 2023 – 1:27 AM. Get more information about the event On the official USGS website here. We accept feedback and comments at [email protected]. +++

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