New Zealand: Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes off coast
New Zealand has been rocked by a huge magnitude 7.1 quake in the early hours of this morning. The tremor struck near the Kermadec Islands about 560 miles (900 kilometres) northeast of the country’s North Island at a depth of 30 miles (49 kilometres), according to the US Geological Survey.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake posed no threat to Hawaii and the wider Pacific.
A localised potential for a tsunami passed without any confirmed impact.
New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said it was assessing whether the quake could affect New Zealand but gave its standard advice for people to move away from coastal areas if they felt a long or strong quake.
It tweeted: “Anyone near the coast who felt a LONG or STRONG quake should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can.”
The United States Geological Survey initially put the magnitude of the tremor at 7.3 before revising this downwards by 0.2 points.
The Kermadec Islands, which measure 13 square miles in total, are uninhabited except for Raoul Island where New Zealand scientists sometimes stay over to carry out meteorological observations or weed control work.
The islands are the site of frequent large earthquakes.
They were geologically formed from a ridge that rose from the ongoing collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.
New Zealand as a whole is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region around the ocean’s perimeter in which volcanic and seismic activity is commonplace.
In the early hours of March 5, 2021, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake centred on the islands triggered a tsunami advisory on the north coast of North Island, while other magnitude 8 earthquakes hit in 1917 and 1976.
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