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Last Updated: Wednesday July 22 2009 14:00 GMT

Earthquake moved NZ and Oz closer

Landslide caused by the earthquake

A massive earthquake has moved the countries of New Zealand and Australia closer together.

The tremor in the Tasman Sea on 16 July pushed New Zealand's South Island towards the west by around 30cm - making it nearer to Australia.

The quake was also strong enough to create a small tsunami with a wave 1m high, but it didn't cause any damage.

But there's still more than 2,250km between the two countries, so their new closeness won't actually be visible.

And it won't make it any cheaper to fly between the two countries either!


Map of the area

Earthquake expert Ken Gledhill said: "Basically, New Zealand just got a little bit bigger is another way to think about it."

Although the earthquake was New Zealand's biggest for 78 years, it only caused a little bit of damage to buildings and a small landslide in a forest when it struck the country last Thursday.