- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)3
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)1
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
- Oran town board fired officer before hiring him as police chief; city officials say they can't remember reason for firing (6/25/17)3
- Library provides free lunches this summer (6/19/17)
- Jackson School District giving away bricks from 'Old A' building (6/23/17)2
New Zealand quake moves country
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Southern New Zealand has moved slightly closer to the east coast of neighboring Australia as a result of an earthquake last week, a scientist said Wednesday.
The magnitude 7.8 quake, centered in the ocean near Resolution Island, twisted South Island into a different shape and moved its southern tip 12 inches closer to Australia, seismologist Ken Gledhill said.
Gledhill, director of government-owned GNS Science's "GeoNet" national earthquake monitoring project, said the island's geographic shift showed the immensity of the forces involved.
"Basically, it's taken us closer to Australia," he told National Radio. "The country is deforming all the time because of being on the plate boundary, but this has done it in a few seconds, rather than waiting hundreds of years."
Last Wednesday's quake was the largest in the world this year and New Zealand's biggest in 80 years. No major damage has been found in the sparsely populated Fiordland region of South Island's west coast.
"New Zealand has been very fortunate. This earthquake anywhere else would have caused huge damage," Gledhill said. He said the quake's impact will provide "invaluable information" on the underlying structure of the country.
Martin Reyners, principal scientist for GNS Science, said earlier that a shallow temblor of such magnitude would typically cause widespread damage and loss of life. Last week's quake, however, occurred in "soft rocks" between two tectonic plates, muffling its power, he said.
Reyners said the rocks had lurched rather than snapped, causing a low-frequency rolling rather than the high-frequency waves that are known to damage buildings.