Magnitude 7.8 tremor followed by tsunami devastates New Zealand

Published on : Monday, November 14, 2016

new-zealand-quakeA strong magnitude 7.8 earthquake followed by several strong aftershocks on the South Island of New Zealand on the early hours of 14th November disrupted lives of thousands of residents and tourists.



The epicentre of the earthquake was recorded almost 57 miles north-northeast of the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.



The tremors forced the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management to order evacuation on the east coast of South Island and the Chatham Islands as the seawater level rose almost six feet in several places. People had to move to higher grounds due to the tsunami alert. The authorities in Wellington also urged people to stay out of the city before they could assess damages.



According to the local authorities, the strong quakes triggered a two-metre high tsunami near Kaikoura on the east coast of the South Island. Coastal areas near Wellington were later hit by smaller but dangerous waves.



The U.S. Geological Survey informed that on 14th November, the South Island region of New Zealand and the north-western region of Argentina were hit by strong magnitude 6.4 quake.



The Prime Minister, John Key informed that the series of quakes killed at least two people and injured several others. He also informed that there was no indication at that moment to believe that the death toll would rise but they cannot rule that out entirely.



According to the Geoscience Australia, the three large aftershocks were measured between magnitude 5.1 and magnitude 6.4. They also informed that at least 12 aftershocks hit New Zealand since early morning on 14th November.



The spokeswoman for GeoNet New Zealand, Caroline Little informed that the initial earthquake was a complex rupture. She added that it was one quake, but there were a number of fault segments and a series of orientations in terms of the way the energy was released. She also informed that the authorities were expecting aftershocks for weeks or maybe months.



The series of strong quakes destroyed numerous roads and damaged buildings near the epicentre. But the tsunami did not cause any serious damage.



At present emergency services are sending medical and rescue officials with the help of helicopters to the quake affected area including Kaikoura and Culverden. The rescue officials are also searching for the lost tourists and citizens.

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