FOCUS: Comparing 2011 and 2016 New Zealand Earthquakes

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -
A landslide blocks State Highway One and the main railway line north of Kaikoura following an earthquake in New Zealand, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. A powerful earthquake that rocked New Zealand on Monday triggered landslides and a small tsunami, cracked apart roads and homes and left two people dead, but largely spared the country the devastation it saw five years ago when a deadly earthquake struck the same region. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Pool via AP)
A landslide blocks State Highway One and the main railway line north of Kaikoura following an earthquake in New Zealand, Monday. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Pool via AP)

A powerful earthquake that struck New Zealand reminded many of the quake that hit the nation in February 2011 and devastated the city of Christchurch, the country’s second-biggest city, though Monday’s quake was not nearly as destructive.

A comparison of the two quakes:

MAGNITUDE AND DEPTH

Monday’s quake, with a magnitude of 7.8, was much stronger than the magnitude-6.3 quake in 2011. But it also was much deeper — striking 14 miles below the earth’s surface. The 2011 quake had a depth of just 3 miles. The shallower a quake is, the more destruction it tends to cause.

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LOCATION

Monday’s quake struck New Zealand’s South Island in a mostly rural area that’s dotted with small towns. It caused some damage in Wellington, the capital, more than 120 miles to the north. It was also strongly felt in Christchurch, 57 miles to the southwest, where residents said the shaking went on for about three minutes. The 2011 quake was centered just 6 miles southeast of the center of Christchurch.

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AFTERSHOCKS

Both quakes were followed by a large series of aftershocks, many of them strong. Since Monday’s quake, at least four temblors of magnitude 6.1 or higher have been recorded in the region.

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CASUALTIES

The 2011 quake killed 185 people and injured thousands. So far, the death toll from Monday’s quake stands at two, with one person dying in the small coastal town of Kaikoura and another in Mt. Lyford, a nearby ski resort. Prime Minister John Key said authorities had no reason to believe the death toll would climb further.

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FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2011 file photo, cars lie crushed under a fallen building in central Christchurch, New Zealand, following a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, reminding many of the quake that hit the nation in February 2011 and devastated the city of Christchurch, the country’s second-biggest city. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, Pool, File)
In this Feb. 26, 2011 file photo, cars lie crushed under a fallen building in central Christchurch, New Zealand, following a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, Pool, File)

DAMAGE

The 2011 quake gutted much of downtown Christchurch, with more than 1,000 central city commercial buildings and 10,000 homes destroyed. Monday’s quake cracked roads and homes, but largely spared the country the devastation it saw from the 2011 quake.

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COST

The 2011 quake caused an estimated $25 billion in damage. It’s too early to tell what the cost of Monday’s quake will be, but officials have estimated that the cleanup will run into the billions.