Unusual slow slip seismic movements are increasing uncertainty about future earthquakes in New Zealand and are a reminder of the need to always be prepared, says Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee.
While a lower than usual number of aftershocks have been detected in the wake of the November 14 magnitude 7.8 earthquake that isolated Kaikoura, GNS Science has observed unusual patches of slow slips between tectonic plates in the lower North Island.
"This heightened activity increases the uncertainty about the likelihood and size of future earthquakes," Mr Brownlee said today.
GNS says an aftershock of similar or larger magnitude to the 7.8 is unlikely but possible.
"While it's not scientifically possible to predict future earthquakes, this ongoing seismic activity is a reminder to us all that we live in a seismically active country and should always be prepared for a major earthquake," Mr Brownlee said.
Kiwis should have a household plan, plenty of food, water and other supplies and if they're near the cost evacuate immediately after a long or strong quake rather than waiting for official warnings.
"The earthquake itself is the natural warning," he said.