An 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck in Antarctic waters on yesterday -- the biggest recorded in the world this year -- would have devastated a city had it been much closer, according to a New Zealand seismologist. \n"It is a whopper," Ken Gledhill, of the Seismological Observatory in Wellington, told Radio New Zealand, speaking of the quake felt in New Zealand and Australia. "This is what they call a `real earthquake.'" \n"There are not many earthquakes of that size on the planet," he said. "It's a long way from us, thank goodness. Anything of that magnitude you don't want to be near them, that's for sure." \nNew Zealand is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries and there are strict legal construction regulations to try to limit damage to buildings and casualties. \nBut Gledhill said: "Even with really good building standards, if you have a shallow quake of that magnitude there's really nothing you can do about it." \nHe said an earthquake of that size near a major populated area would produce massive landslides, building damage and casualties. \nThe subterranean quake, 33km below the earth's surface, was centred 700km southeast of Hobart, in Australia's Tasmania state, where it was reported to have been felt, and 820km southwest of New Zealand's southernmost city of Invercargill. \nThere were no reports of damage from the early morning quake, though the Seismological Observatory said it received 70 reports of it being felt over a wide area in the South Island. \nA South Island police officer said it was felt as a rolling movement rather than a sharp jolt. \n"It was like being on a little boat on the sea really," Sergeant Peter Payne told Radio New Zealand. \nThe quake struck north of Macquarie Island just before 4am.
PASTA PUNCHLINE: Billy McLean’s spoof poking fun at misinformation on the coronavirus was meant for friends, but is being eaten up by frazzled Britons It started off as an ad-libbed joke for some friends in a soccer banter group and ended up being heard by vast numbers of Britons within hours. However, the man responsible for a joke WhatsApp audio clip that claimed the UK Ministry of Defence was about to requisition Wembley Stadium to cook the world’s biggest lasagna has said his viral success also shows the risks of believing everything that gets sent to you on the messaging service. Billy McLean, a 29-year-old Londoner who works in software sales, came forward to the Guardian to identify himself as the creator of the much-shared clip
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