What happens when a large earthquake of 5.2 shakes the ground 10kms underneath a large milk processing factory during a busy working day? Followed by a second earthquake of 6.3 hit seven minutes later? The damage to the building can be seen by the way this steel beam was twisted and bent, just like a piece of wire.
The earthquake took place at Edgecumbe in 1987, and thankfully there was no loss of life. The ground level at the milk processing centre dropped an amazing 15 metres during the shock, and a fault line formed south east of Edgecumbe. The steel beam on display was retrieved during construction and erected as a monument to the forces of nature.
We passed the monument at Edgecumbe on our way to the Awakeri Hot Springs Motor Camp, where we will be staying the next few days. The steel beam is a chilling reminder of why New Zealand is sometimes called “The Shaky Isles”.