OUR knowledge of New Zealand earthquakes extends over little more than a hundred years. Since 1814, when missionaries first landed in the islands, there have been four great earthquakes? in 1826, 1848, 1855, and 1929?but none of these, unless it be the earthquake of 1855, can be compared with the shock that on Feb. 3 brought ruin to Napier and other towns in the North Island. Certainly none has been so destructive of life. On June 17, 1929, 17 persons were killed during the Murchison earthquake; in all previous earthquakes since 1848, not more than seven. During the shock of last week, at least 140 lives were lost, and the number may be increased when the ruins of the larger buildings have been searched.