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The New Zealand Evangelist

The Earthquakes

The Earthquakes.

During the whole of the month slight tremblings and occasionally a rather smart concussion have been felt almost every day, but none of them such as either to cause danger or excite alarm. The earthquake was not felt at Auckland, and only very slightly at Tarauaki, Nelson, and other places at a similar distance from Wellington. From all we can learn there appears to be no doubt that the shocks were most severely felt at the south entrance of Cook's Straits. We are truly glad to find that our neighbours have either entirely cscaped or suffered so much less than we have dono. We rejoice for their sakes and for our own. We are thus fully assured page 143 that the agency at work has been very limited, and that we must have been very near the centre of the movement. The earthquake that destroyed Lisbon in 1755, shook one fourth part of the continents in the old world, and was felt over one twelfth part of the entire Globe. Every well in Britain was affected by it. The earthquake in Chili in 1822, by which St. Iago, Valparaiso, and other places were greatly injured, was felt simultaneously throughout a space of 1200 miles from North to South. So far as we heard, not a well in this settlement has been affected by the shocks, and when this earthquake, the most severe that has ever been felt in this district, has been evidently so limited in extent, it is a strong proof that the volcanic agencies at work are feeble, and therefore such visitations are not likely to occur frequently, and still less probable that the next will occur in the same locality. If the agencies at work had been deep seated, powerful and violent, their force would not have diminished so much within such a limited space. The volcanic agency resembled a small thunder cloud that may be violent in the locality where its force is expended, but is little felt beyond that single spot. From all our experience we must conclude that earthquakes in this country are limited in effect and fluctuating in appearance, and the next one may probably be in some locality where this one has been very little felt, but as the causes in operation are so much beyond the knowledge of man, and though regulated by laws as fixed and uniform as any other that God has imposed upon matter, yet as these are known only by himself, it is right for us to speak of probable events connected with earthquakes with extreme caution.