Earthquake from Space

The BBC published a fascinating article on the science of the Christchurch earthquake with an image of the earth movement caused by the quake as seen from space. The colour bands show movement toward and away from the satellite – the variance was about 50cm. That’s a huge jolt if you’re standing on top of it.

Christchurch Earthquake as mapped by satellite (Image from

The aftermath of the earthquake is still dominating the news here in New Zealand. Two weeks later and a few houses don’t yet have power and most don’t have functional toilets. Camping is all very well, but washing yourself down with a cloth and crapping in the back garden must be getting very very old by now. The city is being shaken by significant aftershocks every day. And the clean up is such an overwhelmingly huge job that I’m sure people are crushed down just at the thought of it.

From up here in my nice normal life, with hot water, toilets and power, and an intact and functional city, it’s simply impossible to grasp what it’s like to be so utterly removed from ordinary.

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2 Responses to Earthquake from Space

  1. iamroewan says:

    Disasters linger locally much longer than they stay in the news. Our local newspaper and TV news ceased their daily coverage of the Christchurch quake several days ago and now we’re more likely to see an article on the Haitian earthquake aftermath.

    This Sat image helps me imagine the wave-like motion of the earth. Like dropping a pebble into water but on a much larger scale. 50 cm…that’s a huge bump!

    • Janettes says:

      Yes, TV moves onto the next big thing pretty fast. This new earthquake and tsunami has driven our homegrown earthquake off the front page even here.

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