New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency has canceled a tsunami alert following an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in the Kermatech Islands. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also set an alarm for Hawaii.
The New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has rejected the tsunami alert and allowed thousands of people evacuated to higher ground to return to high-risk areas.
The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued. The epicenter was reported below the Pacific Ocean floor, however; no tsunami alert was issued.
The NEMA set the alarm for areas from the Kermadec Bay of Islands to Wangarei and from Matata to Tolaga Bay, including Whakatane, Opotiki and Great Barrier Island.
“People near the shore in the following areas should immediately move outside all tsunami relief zones or as high as possible inland. Do not stay at home,” NEMA demanded on Twitter.
For its part, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) detected an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami alert for the Hawaiian Islands. The quake struck at 19:28 GMT on Thursday, according to the USGS.
Two major earthquakes have shaken the southwestern Pacific Ocean today. The previous M7.3 was strongly felt throughout much of New Zealand. The most recent M7.4 occurred ~ 4 hours later, at a distance of ~ 900 km. Considering the large distance between them, the events may not be directly related. ⁇ pic.twitter.com/esymo29T2i
– USGS earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) March 4, 2021
The first event, which was 7.2 on the Richter scale, occurred at 2:30 a.m. Friday (local time). The USGS, which monitors seismic activity around the world, said the epicenter was at a depth of 20.8 kilometers (13 miles) below sea level, 174 kilometers northeast of Gisborne.
More than 60,000 people across the country felt the 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the east-north island of New Zealand, with many describing the quake as “severe”. Over the next few hours, however, citizens reported moderate tremors.
Later, the United States Geological Survey said a magnitude 8.1 earthquake shook the remote Kermatoke Islands off the coast of New Zealand, triggering some eruptions and tsunami warnings across the South Pacific.
New Zealand officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries or severe damage.
However, the NEMA said it would remain vigilant as tremors were likely in the next few hours: “The quake may not be felt in some of these areas, but should be evacuated immediately as it could cause a devastating tsunami.”
Prime Minister Jacintha Artern on her Instagram page wished the East Coast citizens well.
Located in the New Zealand Pacific Ring of Fire, it is one of the most seismically active regions on the planet.
In 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook the city of Christchurch; 185 people died in the incident and the city center was practically destroyed.
With Reuters, EFE and AP
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