An 8.4 magnitude quake off the East Coast of New Zealand could release 2000 times more energy than the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, experts say. It could cause a “megathrust” earthquake, and the dangers it poses are being discussed at a summit in Napier this week – with local councils, iwi and civil defence involved. The potential risk comes from the Hikurangi subduction zone, a massive fault line

running from Marlborough and right past the East Coast where the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates collide. It is potentially the largest source of earthquake and tsunami hazards in New Zealand, but scientists say there is still much to learn about it. GNS Scientist Dr Laura Wallace told TVNZ “it’s a massive plate boundary fault and subduction zones. Because they’re so large [they] have the potential to produce the world’s largest earthquake and tsunamis”. READ MORE