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Sunday, 13 November 2016
New Zealand hit by first tsunami wave after being struck by powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake
A powerful earthquake has generated tsunami up to 15ft high in New Zealand, with the first
waves hitting the South Island, government officials have said
Describing it as ‘an event of life-threatening or national significance’ the department of civil
defence warned people all along the country’s east coast to move to higher ground.
The magnitude-7.9 quake struck in the early
hours of Monday near the city of Christchurch. It
was at a relatively shallow depth of six miles.
The Ministry of Civil Defence said: ‘Current
assessments indicate that waves of up to 3-5
metres along the coastlines closest to the
earthquake epicentre (estimated from Blenheim
to Banks Peninsula, and also including the Chatham Islands) can be expected in some
Anna Kaiser, a seismologist with the GNS Science, said the government’s earthquake
monitoring service, the quakes were close to the coast.
‘They’ve been quite large. We’ve also seen a signal on the tide gauge at Kaikoura which is
up to one metre (three feet) so it’s reasonably significant, so people should take this
However, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that based on available data ‘a
destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.’
The ministry had earlier sent out a message on Twitter saying there was no tsunami threat
to the country.
It then sent out another message – ‘situation has changed – tsunami is possible’ – before
reporting that a tsunami had, in fact, hit.
Some minor damage was reported in the capital, Wellington, more than 120 miles
away. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries in Christchurch.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
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