REMARKABLE TIDAL WAVES.
SHOCKS OP EARTHQUAKE. [From the Nelson Examiner, August 18.] A remarkable series of phenomena have been observed on different parts of the coast of New Zealand within the last two or three days. On the whole of the East Coast of this island, since Saturday morning last, the regular ebb and flow of tides have been more or less deranged, suddenly ebbing and flowing at irregular intervals. On Saturday, the tide in Nelson flowed four times between sunrise and sunset, the strong ebb being more than once suddenly checked, and the tide returning with more than customary strength, rising two or three feet in a few minutes. At the Motueka wharf, Captain "Walker observed the water to fall two and a-half feet in two or three minutes. On Sunday similar phenomena occurred, but with less frequency ; yesterday morning the tide ebbed fully half an hour before its proper time, and the steamer Airedale which had arrived from Manukau, lost a tide in consequence by not being able to enter the harbour. During all this time nothing remarkable occurred on land until about ten o'clock yesterday morning, when, preceded by a low rumbling noise, a slight shock of an earthquake was felt, and a few seconds after a very smart shock occurred which caused many' people to leave their houses. By means of the telegraph we have learned that at Bluff Harbour, the extreme southern point of the island, nearly 700 miles distant from Nelson, the tide rose and fell several times on Saturday, and that in places the sea receded ten chains. At Port Chalmers, at Lyttelton, at Picton, and at "Wellington, similar tidal phenomena were observed, and we learn that at Christchurch and "Wellington the shock of the earthquake yesterday morning was felt severely. Our telegram from the former city states that the shock passed from East to "West, that it was the most violent ever experienced in Canterbury, and although no damage was inflicted, it caused great excitement in Lyttelton and Christchurch. At Wellington,'from the recollection of the damage inflicted by former earthquakes, the disturbed tides, and the shock of yesterday caused great apprehension, and still more violent shocks were anticipated. These fears, we hope, will prove unfounded ; but that some mighty forces in nature, of an unusual character, are in operation in no distant part of the world, is indisputable. "We give below a detail of the tidal disturbance in our harbour, as fully as we could obtain particulars : — Saturday, August 15. — High water at 6 - 30, a.m. ; tide ebbed till 754, then returned, flowing till 8 o'clock, and in six minutes rose higher than at high water. At noon, during the last quarter of ebb, the tide suddenly rose two feet, and then fell again. At 210, p.m., tide again flowed for a short time, and then receded. At 4.50, tide flowed ; running in at the rate of three and a-half to four knots until 5"10, when it flowed very rapidly for a short time, and then at the usual rate. Sunday, August 16. — High water, 740 a.m. Tide ebbed for ten minutes, then stopped, and flowed for five minutes, and reached it* full height. At 130 p.m. tide began flowing, but shortly after stopped, and did not resume flowing until 2110.2 1 10. Monday, August 17. — Tide this morning began to ebb half an hour before its time. Smart shocks of earthquake at a few minutes after ten this morning. No disturbance on shore experienced previously. At Motueka wharf, on Saturday, the water fell 2ft. Gin. in three minutes.
[From the Wellington Independent, August 18.] On Saturday last a most unusual phenomenon took place in this harbour, and also in other parts of tho colony, as we learn by telegraphic despatches which we have received ; wo refer to tho irregular tide which took place that day, and which created not only astonishment, but in some cases dread that a great disaster was about to happen. On ordinary occasions, as is well known, the tide rises, under the influence of the moon, with the greatest regularity, to a height which can be previously ascertained with the utmost exactness. There are two kinds of waves ; one the ordinary ocean wave, occasioned by the wind, when the water does not move onward, and has only apparent lateral motion in consequence of the rise and fall of the water — in the same way as a field of corn when the wind passes over it ; the other the tidal wave, which ordinarily rises and falls twice a day with great regularity. That it does not always do so was shown on Saturday. It is somewhat remarkable that the event was foretold ; during the whole of the week a rumour was current in the town that there would be ai> unusual rise in the water on Saturday, attended with earthquakes ; at every public-house bar the common expression was, " We're all going to be swamped on Saturday," of course, generally, both spoken and heard in a halfincredulous manner ; but we have been unable to trace this rumour to its source. We can only say that the prognostication proved correct. On Saturday morning the water rose in an unusual manner, and consequently great excitement prevailed throughout the whole town. The first indication of the wave was about halfpast eight o'clock in the morning, and from that hour up to noon, the tide kept " bumping " against the brickwork beside the watermen's gridiron ; sometimes rising above high water mark and then suddenly receding" Some people felt considerable alarm, for it was thought to be the precursor of something worse. Those who are given to ill-boding wero disappointed. The time for high water was three o'clock in the afternoon, so that it would be dead low water at nine in the morning, and the phenomenon was therefore more easily observed. There was a crowd of persons on the wharf all day. People who are very weatherwise prophesied that something was " going to happen," and accordingly discovered in the result, the vindication of their opinion. The greatest observable difference in the tidal level was about eight feet. At Te Aro the water almost came up to the public street, and floated a quantity of timber which lay a distance of twenty yards from the high water level. But a still more remarkable effect was caused at the mouth of the Ngahauranga river, where a bar of gravel has been thrown up to the height of two or three feet. The reasons given for this extraordinary event are various ; some say that it is the precursor of a great earthquake ; others that it has been occasioned by the recent earthquakes at St. Thomas. At all events, two slight shocks of earthquake were felt here yesterday morning shortly after ten o'clock. It is supposed that the wave travelled westward, and some say that it had something to do with a solar eclipse which recently occurred in India. The following telegrams have been received from various ports :—: — Bluff, Sunday. Tide higher last night than ever known. Between 8 and 9 this morning terrific rush of water. Tide very high. Large bodies of kelp washed in. Carried all the buoys up the harbour. Tide full, eighteen inches in twenty minutes.
Dunedin, Saturday, 4 p.m. There haa been a terrific agitation of the waters at the Bluff. The water rose and fell eight or nine times, and the buoys were washed far up the harbour. At Port Chalmers two ships at the anchorage had their heads completely turned round twice. The water rose eighteen inches in the hour. Monday. At Otago heads on Saturday, a tidal wave rose five feet, and swept on to the shore. Tho vessels anchored there were swung round. Within two minutes the sea fell, and the tide ebbed seventeen inches. At Oamam there was a tremendous surf. The highest wave rose eleven feet, dashed upon the shore, and came over the landing place. The wave receded rapidly, and the surf boat was stranded as the sea went back. Since daylight tide rising and falling about fifteen feet perpendicularly at intervals of Gfteen minutes. At Taieri, there was a great vise and fall of the tide, the punt being washed away. A slight shock of earthquake has been felt to-day in Dunedin. It is reported that the shock was more severely felt at Blueskin. Ltttelton, Saturday, 10 a.m. Henry rush of irater. It is also reported that tlio shipping has been much damaged. 1030. Water up to flood level. White's Bay, 11-30. Water up to Telegraph Office. Napier, Monday, 4-51, p.m. Saturday's tide ebbed and flowed every hour; the rise was three to six feet. There is much speculation as to the cause of it. Tide higher and lower in Iron Pot than ever known before. Castle Point. No shocks. Tide higher last night than it has been for ten years. We have been favoured by the Government with the following particulars of tho earthquake phenomena experienced on Monday throughout New Zealand :— Napier, 955, a.m. — Two slight shocks; direction, N. to S. Waipukurau, 955, a.m. — Very strong shock. Castle Point, 956, am. — Very strong shock, from S. to N. Greytown, 9.ss— Severe shock. Featherston, 9.55— D0. White's Bay, 9.55— D0. White's Bay 9.56|— A second shock. Blenheim, 9.55 — Severe shock. Kaiapoi, 957 — Severe shock, from N. to S. Christchurch, 9.s62— Strong shock, from E. to W. Lyttelton, 9.s7— Strong shock, N. to S., with oscillation of tide. Hokitika, 9.sß— Violent shock ; also felt at Greymouth. Port Chalmers, 9.55— N0 shock, but oscillation of tide still going on. Nelson, 9.57— Tw0 smart shocks, so severe, it was deemed prudent by the operator to leave the office, got into the road and felt five or six distinct waveß from E. to W.
Tidal Disturbance in New South Wales— A telegram in the Melbourne Argus, of the 17th •of August, says :—": — " The telegraph reports that on Saturday last, the sea, both at Sydney and Newcastle, was singularly agitated. The water in the harbour at both places suddenly rose some four or five feet, and subsided again as rapidly to an equal extent, this phenomenon being repeated— at Newcastle especially — several times at short intervals. The shipping was considerably interfered with ; steamers were stopped and whirled about, and some damage was done. These tidal irregularities were due probably to some volcanic eruption, of which wo shall hear by and bye." And another telegram says : — " An extraordinary phenomenon occurred here this moruing. A tidal wave entered the harbour, and the water rose repeatedly four feet, alternately subsiding with singular rapidity. The Balmain steam ferryboat was dragged from the wharf with great violence, snapping three warps, and doing some other damage. One of the steamers in the harbour was completely stopped, and turned violently round." The phenomenon continued on the following day, for a telegram from Sydney on the 17th, stated : — There was a slight tidal disturbance perceptible yesterday, but the harbour has assumed ts ordinary appearance to-day." Tiie TrDAL Phenomenon in Tasmania. — The extraordinary upheavings of the sea are thus mentioned in a Hobart Town journal, of August 17 :— " On Saturday a most remarkable phenomenon was witnessed at New Town, near the residence of Captain Bailey. Early in the morning a tidal wave was seen approaching the shore, of vast body, and spread over a large area of hitherto dry land. This phenomenon was repeated at intervals throughout the entire day, and was naturally a matter of much curiosity to the residents of the neighbourhood."
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REMARKABLE TIDAL WAVES., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVII, 5 September 1868
REMARKABLE TIDAL WAVES. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXVII, 5 September 1868
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