7.2 Preliminary Magnitude Earthquake Rocks New Zealand

By Brandon Mercer

NEW ZEALAND (CBS SF) — Seismologists recorded a 7.2 preliminary magnitude earthquake that struck New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands, Monday.

Details on damage or injuries are not known at this time.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is tracking the quake, but reports no Pacific-wide danger at this time.

A 2011 quake devastated Christchurch and killed 185 people and only measured 6.3 magnitude, exponentially less powerful than today’s quake, but centered under a populated region.

Since 1900, there have been 15 earthquakes over a magnitude 7.5.  Nine occurred on the Macquarie Ridge.  This is where the Australian plate and the Pacific plate collide in one of the most cataclysmically active areas of the Rim of Fire.  A 1931 7.8 quake killed 126 people in Hawke’s Bay.

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