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23 May 2013
New Zealand’s Earthquake Commission (EQC) has received about 270 claims from the magnitude-7 earthquake felt across the country last week.
The earthquake on Tuesday was centred off Taranaki province in the North Island. It was 230km deep and although it was widely felt its depth reduced the likelihood of severe damage.
Scientists say another quake in the North Island on Saturday, measuring 5.7, was unrelated and has not raised the likelihood of a major, more damaging event.
An EQC spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au most claims were below $NZ3250 ($2540).
The EQC covers up to $NZ20,000 ($15,600) of contents claims and amounts higher than that go to private insurers.
Meanwhile, the NZ Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has warned that a major earthquake in Wellington could cut the city off from the rest of the country for three months.
The group estimates there is a 10% probability of a major rupture of the Wellington Fault within the next 100 years, and says this would have a significant impact on essential services such as roads, water, gas and electricity.
The group says Wellington is “particularly susceptible to a major local earthquake” because of its hilly terrain and restricted corridors for infrastructure.
It could take 120 days for land access to be restored and 40 days until “survival” levels of water supply could be provided in the central city – and longer for the suburbs.
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