I took a helicopter ride over Wellington with some old school mates, on a blue sky day last week. Flying from Wellington City to the Hutt Valley we could see the tectonic landscape, shaped by a major earthquake in 1855.
It was the most powerful earthquake recorded in New Zealand measuring a magnitude of 8.2 and causing a tsunami in Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour.
As well as the devastation, there were some beneficial effects in the change of the landscape. Parts of today’s central business district was below sea level before the1855 earthquake. Also, a newly exploded strip of shore line between Wellington and the Hutt Valley became a road and rail route, previously impassable at high tide.