This website is dedicated to the memory of those members of the Gibson family and all those people who lost their lives following the Murchison earthquake
New Zealand is sometimes known as the "Shaky Islands" because of the number of earthquakes of varying magnitudes it experiences each year. This is not really surprising as New Zealand is close to or astride the boundary between two of the larger Tectonic Plates - the Indian-Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate.
For example in 1929 there were 678 earthquakes scattered throughout New Zealand. During that year, on the 17th of June at 10.17am, Murchison experienced a major earthquake of the magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter Scale which was felt almost everywhere throughout New Zealand. The actual epicentre of this earthquake was not far to the west of Murchison in the Lyell Range and an enormous block of country extending from 3.2km below O'Sullivan's Bridge to 3.2km above the Longford Bridge was raised nearly half a metre. Over the next fortnight, tremors continued including at least six aftershocks with magnitudes of at least 7.
There were a number of landslips in the area partly due to heavy rain and flooding.