New Zealand earthquake november 2016

Tsunami Warnings Issued After New Zealand Hit By String Of Massive Earthquakes

The island nation of New Zealand in the South Pacific has been hit by a string of large earthquakes in the past few hours, Russia Today reports. The initial earthquake, estimated to be a huge magnitude 7.4 tremor, first rocked the nation followed by four other quakes that were quite large for aftershocks. While the USGS has confirmed that initial quake to be a magnitude 7.4, some agencies from New Zealand have listed it as a magnitude 7.9 – making its effects even more destructive. The other four earthquakes which happened minutes after the initial large quake have been measured at magnitude 6.2, magnitude 5.7 and two tremors of magnitude 5.8.

According to USGS data, the initial earthquake had its epicenter more than 46 kms from the small town of Amberley which has a population of around 2,000 residents.

Minutes after the quake struck, people took to social media to talk about it and posted images of the destruction.

While the state agencies had denied reports of any tsunamis, minutes later, an official tsunami warning was issued for several coastal regions. People were asked to move inland or to higher areas near the coast.

Officials have rated the initial tremor as “severe,” with the New Zealand Herald reporting that several sirens could be heard in Wellington. There are reports that houses in the town of Cheviot have been badly damaged.

The country’s prime minister also took to Twitter.

This latest earthquake was also pretty close to the city of Christchurch which was rocked by a large 6.3 magnitude earthquake back in 2011. That quake had resulted in the deaths of 185 people in New Zealand five years ago.

Minutes after the quake, the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management (MCDEM) warned of several aftershocks and that is precisely what happened. At the time of filing this report, there have been more than four large aftershocks.

Initial reports did not indicate any damage or deaths – but considering the severity of the quakes, that situation could change in the next few hours as more information comes in.

Meanwhile, officials have confirmed the presence of a tsunami that was generated by the quake. According to a BBC report, one of the initial tsunamis has already hit the north eastern coast almost two hours after the first earthquake. The warning issued by local agencies went on to add that the first wave might not be the only one and that there could be multiple tsunami waves on its way.

“The first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours,” the ministry tweeted.

[Featured Image by Shutterstock]

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