In 2004, GeoNet (New Zealand’s national geological hazards monitoring service;, last accessed March 2014) implemented an algorithm (Coppola et al., 2010) to automatically assign intensity values in New Zealand’s modified Mercalli intensity (NZ‐MMI) scale (New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering [NZNSEE] Study Group, 1992; Dowrick, 1996; Hancox et al., 2002), based on felt information captured from a web interface questionnaire. The success of the online questionnaire project was apparent following earthquakes such as the magnitude 6.8 Gisborne event in December 2007, when more than 3400 felt reports were received...

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