THE LATE EARTHQUAKE.
Since the arrival of H. M. S. Pandora, which brought us the information of the sad effects of the earthquake at Wellington on the 23rd ultimo, we received no additional intelligence respecting the occurrence until Saturday laslL>when the Onkaparinga arrived, with papers to the 31st ultimo. On turning to the Independent of the 24th, we found in the following paragraph the only notice taken of the calamity :—: —
" On Tuesday evening a little bsfore ten o'clock, the community were alarmed* by a smart shock of earthquake, which lasted several seconds, and was succeeded at intervals by tremours of less violence. The first shock knocked down many chimneys, by the falling of one of which, we regret to say, one old colonist, Baron Yon Alzdorf, who was infirm and unable to get out of the way, was killed. At the hour of our going to press, there is every appearance of all commotion having ceased, and we trust that the partial damage above referred to, will prove to be all that we shall suffer."
, The Spectator, however, does not attempt to gloss over the lamentable event in any such indecent manner ; but while treating it as briefly as it well could do, gives some interesting particulars of the occurrence. As respects the effect of the shock on the town of Wellington itself, the account furnished us by Captain Drury, of the Pandora, is by far the fullest we have seen ; but we learn from the Spectator, that in the Wairarapa the shock was very severely felt, and that four Maories were killed there by the fall of a house. At Te Kopi, a small boat harbour at the Wairarapa, a heavy wave swept the beach, washing away the sheds, buildings, and the bales of wool that were lying there awaiting to be conveyed to Wellington. The road by Mukamuka Rocks, which was the worst part of the coast road to Wairarapa, has been greatly improved, by what we imagine to have bean an upheaving of the land, for between these rocks and the sea there is now a considerable space at high water, which was not formerly the case. Particulars of the manner in which the shock was felt at Wanganui, the Spectator gives from a private letter : —
" Last night we had as heavy a shock of an earthquake as ever I have felt, and of longer duration in respect to its steady violence. I should think it lasted about two minutes, and it was scarcely possible to stand without holding by something while it lasted. The mischief it did was considerable. It threw down nearly all the chimneys. * * The bed of the river at low water this morning looked like an ill-ploughed field, although a high tide had intervened, which must have helped to fill up thp fissures made, and it had sunk in many places and rose in others, presenting a very ugly appearance. Taylor and Watt's wharf is a wreck nearly, warped and bant up and dm*nfdl along, and the extreme end snnk obliquely^* **
Within the last few days we have also received letters from the Wairau and Awatere, giving particulars of the extent of damage which the earthquake caused in those districts, In the Awatere, the shock was very severe, and nearly all the cob buildings, within twenty miles of the sea, were more or less damaged, but beyond this the force of the shocks sensibly diminished. At the mouth of the Wairau river a gigantic wave swept the beach, similar to what is described to have occurred on the opposite side of the Straits, at Wairarapa, but fortunately without inflicting a similar damage ; and the ebb and flow of the tide, at short
jjllfrvals, occurred in the manner in which Captain Drury described it to have taken place in Wellington harbour. From the information we now possess, it appears that the shock was felt with equal violence on the coast on both sides of the southern end of Cook's Straits, but the force of the shocks was less severe on elevated land than on the low levels, and travelling inland their violence rapidly diminished. We learn from Captain Drury, that on his passage from Wellington to Nelson, on the 25th, violent shocks were felt at sea in the Straits, and this leads us to the conclusion that it was from beneath the Straits that the shocks radiated.
The Aden. — A survey has been held on the Aden, and it is found necessary that she should discharge a part, if not the whole, of her cargo ; for it is apprehended that some of the wool may have got wet, which, by being suffered to remain on board, would render the ship liable to fire. The vessel too requires caulking.
Permanent link to this item
THE LATE EARTHQUAKE., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume 712, Issue 712, 21 February 1855
THE LATE EARTHQUAKE. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume 712, Issue 712, 21 February 1855
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.