Words by Diane Naimeh
Three earthquakes hit the North Island region of New Zealand last week and were described as being some of the strongest ones ever, and caused a Tsunami scare in the country.
On 4 March, thousands of people had to be evacuated after the effects of the 8.1 magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami scare after it struck, which brought the whole population into shock.
According to BBC and CNN news channels, the national tsunami warning was downgraded around 2:43 pm. It happened 13 hours after the first earthquake.
On Friday afternoon, several waves hit parts of the coast and officials said that the largest parts of the shock had passed. The residents were being told that they could go back home but they were also warned to stay away from cracks or danger zones.
Mr Tia Reid who works for the US government in the territory stated on BBC channel that: “alarms went off in the building and we immediately took for higher ground”.
Those coastal areas saw certain waves surges around 3m and 10 feet, while areas in South America such as Peru , Ecuador and Chile were warned that they could see around 1m of waves reaching the coast.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center stated that “tsunami waves have been observed” but that no damage has been reported. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern said in her statement: “hope everyone is okay out there”
New Zealand’s Civil defense department advised the residents to avoid getting caught in the chaos. Meanwhile the local media posted footage of waves appearing in the Tokomaru bay.
The earlier tsunami warnings have been called off due to the National Emergency Management Agency sending out alerts and sounding a tsunami siren in some areas in advance of the third earthquake.
Last week’s earthquake coincided with the 10th anniversary of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that led to the death of 185 people in 2011, which significantly damaged southern islands in Christchurch leading to a massive tragedy.
Picture Credit: meo