New Zealand’s Civil Defence has a new alert system that pushes a really irritating sound out to every compatible phone, no app required, and it can’t be switched off. They tested it on 4 October at 1.32 am and, the other weekend, tested it again. About a third of all cellphones in New Zealand can … More New Zealand’s looming seismic time-bomb
Something slightly scary occurred to me the other day. Analysis of the Mw 7.8 quake that ripped through central New Zealand last November suggests it was awesomely complex. We usually imagine quakes being caused when one fault line moves. Or maybe two or three faults, because faults tend to exist in connected systems. And often, … More The earthquake apocalypse – it’s coming. Probably.
This week’s news that a previously unsuspected magnitude 8+ mega-quake could hit central New Zealand and then douse the place with tsunami isn’t too surprising to me. I wrote the most recent pop-sci book on our earthquakes. It was published by Penguin Random House last year. While I was writing the book I had a chat … More And now Kiwis are facing a potential mega-quake and tsunami. But of course…
New Zealand has been hit by three significant earthquakes in the last two days. Luckily not strong enough to do damage, and remote enough that even a larger shake would have been more nuisance than apocalypse. But they are a sharp reminder that we live on some very ‘shaky isles’. The next one might well bring tragedy. … More Why New Zealand doesn’t need to worry about a zombie apocalypse
This weekend’s tragedy on Japan’s Mount Ontake reminds us that life around the Pacific ‘rim of fire’ is often risky. That string of tectonic plate collisions stretches around the whole circumference of the Pacific and has shaped life in many ways. It was cause of the 2011 tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. It gave the US Yellowstone. … More Forecasting New Zealand’s seismic apocalypse
A major earthquake rattled much of the southern North Island of New Zealand during the early hours of Tuesday morning – magnitude 5.5. It woke Kiwis from southern Hawke’s Bay to Wellington and was classed as ‘strong’ by our seismologists. Luckily nobody was hurt, and no damage was reported. Good news in a land where … More Living on shaky ground – out this week
Last year I signed a contract with Penguin Random House to write a science book on a subject close to the hearts of everybody around the Pacific Rim. A science book? I’m known as a historian. And I can legitimately call myself one if I want – I have post-graduate academic qualifications in that field. Indeed, the Royal … More Busy busy busy busy…with science!