New Zealand

Tsunami Hits In Aftermath Of New Zealand Earthquake

Residents posted about heading for higher ground after a quake rocked the South Island of New Zealand

New Zealand
Belongings dislodged due to a quake lay in a New Zealand home. — REUTERS
Nov 13, 2016 at 1:24 PM ET

A 7.8-magnitude quake rocked New Zealand just after midnight on Monday morning, causing panic and triggering tsunami waves.

The earthquake hit the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island and was followed by several other smaller quakes in the area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said several tsunami waves were observed at locations in New Zealand, measuring between 8.2 and 0.4 feet high.

After warning that bigger waves could still be on their way, New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management said the tsunami threat had been downgraded “to a marine and beach threat for the East Coast of New Zealand, from East Cape to Southland, and also the Kapiti Coast and Tasman Bay/Marlborough Sounds.”

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a “tsunami threat beyond New Zeland is not expected.”

Prime Minister John Key said two people died, The Guardian reported. Emergency response teams were sent in helicopters to the area at the heart of the quake, according to Reuters.

As the situation developed, some posted about heading for higher ground:

Others took to social media to post pictures of damage. The hashtag #eqnz was posted more than 30,000 times in the hours immediately following the earthquake.