Previous Impacts in Hawke's Bay
1863 Southern Hawke's Bay
A Magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred on 23 February 1863. It is the second largest earthquake to occur in Hawke's Bay since about 1843 with its epicentre near Waipawa. Personal accounts from witnesses reveal the occurrence of numerous landslides, liquefaction, and surface faulting.
1904 Cape Turnagain
On 9 August 1904 a Magnitude 6.7 earthquake, centred off Cape Turnagain, caused damage to chimneys, buildings and roads throughout southern Hawke's Bay from north of Napier to Masterton. Liquefaction, sand boils, landslides, and surface fractures were reported. Near Kopua and Te Aute there was noticeable subsidence and there may have been a small tsunami.
1931 Hawke's Bay
On 3 February 1931, one of the three largest historical earthquakes ever recorded in New Zealand struck Hawke's Bay and was felt strongly throughout the lower North Island. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake was produced by rupture on a northeast-trending buried fault, probably the Napier-Hawke Bay Fault. The epicentre (the point on the earth's surface vertically above where the earthquake initiated) was a little East of North of Napier, very close to the coast between Waipatiki and Tangoio Bluff. The depth of the earthquake is assumed to be 30 km and epicentre is just over 20 km from Napier. There was only a minor surface rupture along a 15 km stretch of the fault, but the underground faulting produced an uplifted area, 90 x 17 km and up to 2.7 m high.
In Hastings, about one metre of ground subsidence occurred. The Ahuriri Lagoon was raised 1-2 m and partially drained. Near Napier the coastline was raised and some boats moored in the harbour were left sitting on harbour floor rather than floating as a result of the uplift of the coast.
Hawke's Bay Earthquake 1931 - Railway Road, Hastings
The 'Hawke's Bay earthquake' was the most damaging quake to affect New Zealanders. Two hundred and fifty six people lost their lives, either from collapsing buildings or in the widespread fires that followed the earthquake. Many buildings at that time were constructed of unreinforced masonry or had poorly supported concrete facades that collapsed in the shaking.