Across Continents

Ken's Blog

At fault

July 2nd, 2011

quake

Today’s Kiwese word: ruck secks. Two or more bags usually carried in the Great Outdoors

One doesn’t want to sound alarmist. But New Zealand does sit on along a major fault line. Specifically, the western coast of South Island. Sort out accounts for the mountains there. And it’s where I’m off to next. Bit of exploration. Probably best not to mention my rather dubious track record. Side-stepping natural disasters and civil unrest by a month or two. Sometimes a lot less. In any case, just enough.

I’d been a bit presumptive. Recent devastation of Christchurch by an earthquake a few months ago. Volcanic activity on North Island. Lofty mountain peaks. Sharply defined. A nation thrust up from beneath. But no. Splinter of an ancient landmass. Eventually dividing up into South America, India, Australia and Antarctica.

I’d have been blissfully ignorant but for hosts Ian, Amy and their three children taking me to Te Papa Our Place – New Zealand’s national museum of errr New Zealand. Maori culture. Social history. Fashions. Household artifacts. And Geology. Plate tectonics. Even an earthquake simulator. Supposedly a seven or so on the Richter Scale. Amy disagreed. More like a four. Experience for you.

And the photograph? One of Te Papa’s supports. Designed to reduce the impact of an earthquake on the building. Slowing down the more violent short, sharp shocks.

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