Waves as high as 2.5m have been noted on the South Island’s east coast
A two-metre high tsunami is recorded in New Zealand right after a powerful 7.4 earthquake struck the country’s South Island.
Smaller but “very dangerous” waves had started to reach the coast near Wellington after a gauge at Kaikoura measured waves of 2m, reported by local weather site Weather Watch.
New Zealand’s Civil Defence authority detailed the threat of the wave as “an event of life-threatening or national significance” and cautioned folks to stay away from beaches along the whole coastline.
Dunedin city council and Clutha District council are evacuating low-lying coastal locations while forewarning citizens to follow instructions from emergency services and listen to the radio.
The epicentre was recorded 57 miles north-northeast of Christchurch on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
It hit at the shallow depth of 3.1 miles, 28 miles from the community of Amberley which has a population of 2,000 folks.
The Civil Defence authority have informed South Island residents residing on the east coast and those residing on the close by Chatham islands to move to higher ground.
The Chatham islands are predicted to receive waves from 3-5m high.
Some of the first waves to strike the east coast as high as 2.5m are already reported but authorities have cautioned residents later waves could be higher.
Immediately following the earthquake, the authority tweeted: “Situation has changed – tsunami is possible. People near the coast in the South Island should move to high ground or inland.”
If folks do not have time to relocate inland or reach higher ground, they are already advised to climb onto a roof, up a tree or reach an upper story of a durable building.
Tremors were experienced as far afield as the cities of Dunedin to the south and Wellington on North Island, accounts the New Zealand Herald.
There have been information of serious damage of houses in the town of Cheviot on the South Island’s east coast.
Wayne Timmo from Hamilton in the north east of North Island informed Stuff.co.nz: “The water in the neighbour’s swimming pool was left sloshing around for about a minute and people woken by the quake came out onto the street to talk about it.
“The cat has disappeared and the neighbours dog is upset.”
Mr Timmo stated he woke to noise of blinds banging against the windows conveying the quake feeling like “a long slow, rolling or almost rotating motion.”
In 2011, 185 perished when a quake struck Christchurch. The city’s central business district is still recovering from the catastrophe with piles of bricks, destroyed and abandoned buildings dotting the streets.
Memorial plaques mark the area where each of the 2011 quake victims perished, and the city’s cathedral in the main square continues to be left half-ruined after it was presumed too dangerous to fix.
The Antipodean country is situated on the volatile Ring of Fire on the Pacific rim which is recognised for erupting volcanoes and recurrent seismic disturbances.
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