NZ Herald: Wellington’s ‘big one’ likely to take some time

Anthony Doesburg of the New Zealand Herald writes about It’s Our Fault, a GNS-led project which aims to gain a better understanding of when the next big quake might hit Wellington, and what its effects could be.

According to the project, the Wellington fault is not facing imminent rupture – while it’s certainly active, there have been no signs to suggest any major quakes within the near future.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“[GNS Science seismologist and scientific leader of Its Our Fault, Russ Van Dissen] doesn’t want to speculate when the crucial Wellington fault might next go off. But rather than being overdue, the new data suggests it may not be for 300 years. For one thing, the last big quake is now thought to have been more recent than earlier believed.

“Also, the research suggests the time between ruptures of the Wellington fault is longer than previously thought. And the final piece of good news is that an 1855 rupture of the Waiararapa fault appears to have de-stressed the Wellington fault.

“The region is still vulnerable, but can work on making itself less so, Van Dissen says. “If we choose to build resilience into our communities now, we have time to reap the benefits.””