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New Zealand: Highest quake risk on North Island's east coast

January 13, 2014 - 6:00am

An area off the east coast of the North Island has been ranked as having the highest risk of generating a massive earthquake – greater than magnitude 8.5, reported.

Wouter Schellart, associate professor at Monash University in Melbourne, said the research found the Hikurangi-southern Kermadec subduction zone segment had the attributes of the locations of earlier major earthquakes.

Mr. Schellart said "it should be capable of generating a giant earthquake as well."

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