Major Earthquake May Have Saved Island From Coastal Erosion

Major Earthquake May Have Saved Island From Coastal Erosion

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There aren’t a lot of benefits that come from major disasters – but this island in New Zealand may have just been saved from certain long-term danger because of it.

After the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November, over 75 miles of Kaikōura coastline in Canterbury was raised up to 26 feet out of the water.

Kaikōura is a relatively small tourist town on the east coast of the South Island, New Zealand with a population of 3,500 people. The regional council had reportedly been struggling with how to manage the island’s coastal erosion; a phenomenon in which their water currents were washing away beaches, land mass, and dune sediments.

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The council would have had to spend millions in order to repair the coastline; but now – ever since the earthquake – officials are wondering whether the island has temporarily been put out of harm’s way..

“It was actually the elephant in the room for us, like many councils, because it was such a big job to deal with, particularly along the esplanade where it’s a very popular residential area,” Kaikōura mayor Winston Gray told Radio New Zealand. “Now with the uplift … certainly it has taken the issue away for a given period of time. How long, we don’t know.”

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