Massive New Zealand Quake Has Been Going on All Year

But no one can feel it
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2013 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A magnitude 7 earthquake has been hitting a New Zealand city for five months now—but life in Wellington continues on as normal. That's because the rumbling is taking place 25 miles underground across an area spanning over 60 miles, in a slow-moving type of earthquake called a "slow-slip event," reports the New Zealand Herald. Like regular earthquakes, slow-slips occur when tectonic plates move past each other, but they do so, well, slowly, which makes for a very gradual release of pressure.

The only noticeable impact of the event will be New Zealand moving maybe an inch further from Australia, and slow-slips are actually fairly common in the area—this particular one reoccurs every five years, reports TVNZ. This slow-slip will continue for months. "Based on these last two events, we think that this should go on for roughly a year. The longest one has gone on for 400 days," says a scientist. (Read more New Zealand stories.)

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