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Major 8.1 quake at Kermadecs, people told to move to higher ground

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 4/03/2021
The USGS recorded the Kermadecs quake as 8.1 magnitude. It struck at 8.28am at a depth of 10km, less that two hours after a 7.4 quake near the Kermadecs. © Getty The USGS recorded the Kermadecs quake as 8.1 magnitude. It struck at 8.28am at a depth of 10km, less that two hours after a 7.4 quake near the Kermadecs.

An 8.1 earthquake has struck near the Kermadec Islands, hours after a 7.4 quake near the Kermadecs and a 7.1 off the North Island coast.

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) issued tsunami warning for New Zealand coastal areas following the magnitude 8.1 earthquake.

It says there is a land and marine tsunami threat.

NEMA said the first waves were due to reach New Zealand in the areas around Lottin Point at approximately 9.49am, and tsunami activity would continue for several hours.

Flooding of coastal land is expected in the West Coast of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Ahipara.

It also affects the East Coast of the North Island from Cape Reinga to Whangārei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay including Whakatāne and Ōpōtiki and Great Barrier Island.

Strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges near the shore are expected in:

  • The West Coast of the North Island from Ahipara to Makara including the West Coast of Auckland, Manukau Harbour, New Plymouth, Whanganui and the Kapiti Coast.
  • The East Coast of the North Island from Whangārei to Matata including Whangārei, the East Coast of Auckland, Waiheke Island, Waitemata Harbour and Tauranga, from Tolaga Bay to Lake Ferry including Gisborne and Napier.
  • The West and South Coasts of the South Island from Farewell Spit to Puysegur Point including Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika.
  • The top of the South Island from Farewell Spit to Port Underwood including Nelson, Picton and the Marlborough Sounds.
  • The East and South Coasts of the South Island from the Waipara River to the Rakaia River including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, from the Taireri River to Puysegur Point including Invercargill
  • Stewart Island
  • The Chatham Islands.
    • The USGS recorded said he quake at 8.28am at a depth of 10km.

      It came less than two hours after a 7.4 quake near the Kermadecs.

      It said people in the areas indicated on the mane should not wait, but should evacuate these areas even if they didn't feel the earthquake.

      "A damaging tsunami is possible."

      The Kermadec Islands are more than 800km from New Zealand, and is an area where there is a lot of earthquake activity.

      The last major quake in the region was in June, also a 7.4 magnitude tremor, which prompted warnings of strong currents around New Zealand's coast but no damage was reported.

      GNS Science seismologist John Ristau said today's quake was along the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.

      It was the third severe quake in New Zealand waters this morning, after a strong 7.1 magnitude quake struck off the north Island coast.

      More than 52,000 people reported on GeoNet that they felt the quake. It struck at 2.27am, 105km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 90km.

      Hundreds of people moved to higher ground but there have been no immediate reports of damage. A tsunami warning for that quake was cancelled around 6am.

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