Sunday 13 November 2016

New Zealand earthquake: Tsunami follows powerful tremor

New Zealand

New Zealand authorities have issued a tsunami warning, urging people along the entire east coast to move inland or to high ground, after a powerful earthquake hit northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on South Island.

The tremor, with a magnitude initially estimated at 7.4 before being scaled up to 7.8, had a depth of 23km, according to the US Geological Survey. New Zealand's Civil Defense puts the depth at 15km.

It was centered 46km from the town of Amberley with about 2,000 people, 70km from the town of Kaiapoi with 10,000 residents and 91km north-northeast of Christchurch.

"There have been several severe earthquakes in the Seddon and Kaikoura region. Strong earthquakes have been felt in Wellington. Early indications are that the quakes originated from the Hope Fault," NZ Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management (MCDEM) said in a statement.

Civil Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee told a news conference that he received some reports about casualties from the Kaikoura area. "There are some reports of casualties in the Kaikoura area but the extent of that is not yet reported," he said.



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