Graphic shows the epicenter and aftershocks of the magnitude 7.1 Darfield earthquake

This graphic from Aon shows the epicenter of the magnitude 7.1 Darfield earthquake that struck New Zealand’s south island early on Saturday, September 4.

The epicenter is situated approximately 50km west of Christchurch near a town called Darfield. The largest aftershocks and their impact zones are also featured in the graphic.

The ground surface above the fault ruptured during the earthquake, with up to 4m right lateral slip along a 22km line running to within 12km of Christchurch. It was the largest on land earthquake in New Zealand since the 1968 magnitude 7.1 Inangahua earthquake.

The quake caused extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Thankfully, there were no reported fatalities.

It is still too early to reliably estimate the economic impact of the event; however, it appears that the earthquake is likely to become the most damaging to hit New Zealand since 1931.

Aon’s report discusses the geophysics of the event and current knowledge of the insured and reinsurance loss.

Ben Miliauskas, head of Aon Benfield Analytics in Australia/New Zealand, commented: “Whilst the earthquake occurred in a new location, it wasn’t inconceivable given how seismically active New Zealand is. “