Tsunami hits New Zealand after series of strong quakes

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck 91 km (57 miles) north-northeast of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand just after midnight. (USGS)

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck central New Zealand just after midnight (1102 GMT Sunday), the US Geological Survey said, generating a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of the South Island.

New Zealand’s Civil Defence warned residents along the country’s entire east coast to seek higher ground.

Anna Kaiser, a seismologist at GNS Science said a tidal signal or surge of up to one meter (3 feet) had been recorded in North Canterbury region of the South Island.

“That’s reasonably significant so people should take this seriously,” she told Radio New Zealand.

Debris from buildings are seen on a sidewalk past a cordon line in Wellington early on November 14, 2016 following an earthquake centred some 90 kilometres (57 miles) north of New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch. A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand early November 14, the US Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning and knocking out power and phone services in many parts of the country. AFP

Debris from buildings are seen on a sidewalk past a cordon line in Wellington early on November 14, 2016 following an earthquake centred some 90 kilometres (57 miles) north of New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch. A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand early November 14, the US Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning and knocking out power and phone services in many parts of the country. AFP

The quake was centered 91 km (57 miles) north-northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island. A 6.3 quake there in February 2011 killed 185 people and caused widespread damage.

The tremor, which was measured by New Zealand’s Geonet at magnitude 6.6, was felt throughout most of New Zealand. Civil Defense said it was too early to assess the damage or whether there had been any injuries or deaths.

“The whole house rolled like a serpent and some things smashed, the power went out,” a woman who gave her name as Elizabeth told Radio New Zealand from her home in Takaka, near the top of the South Island.

Residents in Wellington said glass had fallen from buildings into the streets.

A series of aftershocks were recorded around the country, some as strong as 6.1 magnitude.

 

(Developing)

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Last Update: Sunday, 13 November 2016 KSA 17:33 - GMT 14:33
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