Home-Discovering our Thorndon

The land and harbour

On the 23 of January 1855 there was a earthquake that was 8.2 on the richter scale. The after shocks continued on for several months and the main earthquake caused a tsunami that drastically changed the shape of the land and Wellington harbour. Because the earthquake was set in the Wairarapa Wellington got a big shock. It lasted for 50 seconds. The earthquake caused minor landslides on Tinakori Hill. The shoreline of Wellington harbour changed - the harbour used to come up to Lambton Quay. ( It is now where the modern day waterfront is.) The quake also shifted Miramar into the rest of the mainland whereas it used to be an island. There was vertical uplift in the land in Thorndon, creating the distinct landscape that we see as Thorndon today.

The shock was felt across almost the whole country, and was highly destructive in Wellington. Between seven and nine people were killed in the earthquake, and five others sustained injuries that required urgent attention. The earthquake was a huge reminder to everyone living in New Zealand.

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