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February 21, 2011 Christchurch New Zealand earthquake

The South Island, New Zealand earthquake occurred as part of the aftershock sequence of the M 7.0 September 3, 2010 Darfield, NZ earthquake. It involved oblique-thrust faulting at the easternmost limit of previous aftershocks, and like the mainshock itself is broadly associated with regional plate boundary deformation as the Pacific and Australia plates interact in the central South Island, New Zealand. This latest shock is significantly closer to the main population center of Christchurch, NZ, than is the September 2010 mainshock, in the vicinity of several other moderate (M 4 to 5) sized aftershocks located east of the main rupture zone of the 2010 event. There have been approximately 6 M>=5.0 aftershocks in the Christchurch region. The February 21st earthquake represents the largest aftershock to date, more that half a magnitude unit larger than the previous largest aftershock.

Event Data: