A weekend of earthquakes for BOP

Felt reports from the M5.2 earthquake. Images: GeoNet.

Some people in Auckland and Bay of Plenty had an early morning wake up this weekend with a M5.2 earthquake occurring 120km north-east of Whangamata on Saturday morning.

The earthquake occurred at 3.47am.

GeoNet says they received more than 2500 felt reports, from Auckland down to Whakatane.

“Since the mainshock, we have located more than 80 aftershocks, the largest we have recorded were a M4.6 Saturday evening 29-08-20 and a M4.7 Sunday morning 30-08-20 both events were felt in the Bay of Plenty, up to Auckland,” says a statement on the GeoNet website.

Aftershocks located following the M5.2 earthquake.

“The shaking has been unnerving for those in Auckland and the Coromandel, as earthquakes are not common in these areas.

“As you can see in the image below, showing 20 years of located earthquakes, only a handful have been in the Auckland area.

“Of this handful of events, people may remember two in 2013 that made the news for shaking the greater Auckland region and a swarm of quakes that occurred in Northland in early 2019.”

Maps showing 20 years of earthquakes in New Zealand and the Auckland region.

Although earthquakes in the Auckland/Northland region are uncommon, GeoNet says people must remember that earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Zealand.

“Even sizable earthquakes can occur in places that historically have low places of seismic activity, Canterbury and Christchurch are a sombre, but good example of this.”

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