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earthquake christchurch

Witness to Destruction in New Zealand

WHOI geologist and earthquake expert Jian Lin arrived on New Zealand’s South Island two days after the deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck that region on Feb. 22. Lin traveled to the nearby port city of Lyttelton to board a Korean research vessel, the icebreaker Araon. His eventual aim was to join a group studying the seafloor geology and deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Southeast Indian Ridge, a little-explored part of the Mid-Ocean Ridge system that encircles the Earth, but as an earthquake expert, he took some time to survey damage to buildings in the area. Because of damage to harbor facilities, the team's point of departure was moved to another port about 200 miles to the south. All those on the ship when the earthquake struck were safe. (Photo courtesy of Jian Lin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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