An 8.1 magnitude earthquake prompts Tsunami warning in New Zealand


New Zealand
Picture Courtesy: CNN
Picture Courtesy: CNN

On Friday, at least three major earthquakes hit New Zealand, prompting thousands of people to flee and tsunami warnings throughout the South Pacific.

A strong magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck about 8:30 a.m. local time in the waters of the Kermadec Islands, around 620 miles from New Zealand.

It occurred two hours after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the same area.

An earlier 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which hit off the east coast of the North Island at 2:27 a.m., jolted many New Zealanders awake.

According to Reuters, 60,000 people across the country felt the tremor, with many labeling it as "extreme."

The National Emergency Management Agency of New Zealand has released a tsunami alert for the country's coastal areas.

Authorities warned that waves could rise up to ten feet above the tide line.

Tsunami alerts were also released for Hawaii, Tonga, American Samoa, and Fiji, as well as other Pacific islands.

Officials have advised residents on the North Island's East Coast to move to higher ground as soon as possible.

Because of the remoteness of where the largest quake struck, there were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wrote on Instagram, "Hope everyone is okay out there – particularly on the East Coast who would have felt the full force of that earthquake."

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people and damaging most of the city's downtown.

Publish : 2021-03-05 11:51:00

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