Huge NZ earthquake sparks chaos

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has cleared New Zealand of a tsunami threat minutes after issuing a beach warning following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake near the Kermadec Islands.

The earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands region at 10.55am.

A Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management spokesman said there may be some strong currents but there was nothing to indicate a threat to life and safety in New Zealand.

Tidal gauges at Raoul Island, which lay between the epicentre and New Zealand, had shown good news, he said.

 

The earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands region at 10.55am. Picture: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
The earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands region at 10.55am. Picture: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

 

Raoul Island is home to a Department of Conservation (DOC) station.

A DOC spokeswoman confirmed all seven staff based on Raoul Island were safe and accounted for.

"There are no other contractors or visitors on the island," she said.

At this stage, they were unsure of any damage on the island and staff would be assessing this, she said.

The Kermadec Islands Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve is the most remote area managed by DOC and can only be visited with a special permit.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, which made the assessment alongside GNS Science, said earlier that if a tsunami had been generated in this location it was not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least two hours.

This story first appeared in The New Zealand Herald and is republished with permission.


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