7 Mar 2012

Faster quake information website being trialled

6:18 am on 7 March 2012

Geonet has launched a new earthquake-monitoring website that will provide information 10 times faster than before.

Geonet Rapid will run alongside the the national quake monitoring agency's existing website for a six-month test period from Tuesday.

It will reveal a quake's strength and location within two minutes as opposed to about 20 minutes with the existing system.

Information that has previously been analysed by a seismologist first will be automatically uploaded as it comes in.

Geonet data centre manager Kevin Fenaughty says Cantabrians will benefit the most.

"People in the Canterbury region really want to know just how big the earthquake was that they felt.

"At the moment they come to this site and they're sitting there pressing the refresh button - so we're cutting down on the amount of network traffic our website's going to have to serve because people are going to get the answers much quicker."

Mr Fenaughty says faster information could also allow emergency services to begin their earthquake response more quickly.

The beta.geonet.org.nz website began operating on Tuesday, and was also available via a link from the main geonet.org.nz site.