New Zealanders woke up on Friday after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake off their coast triggered a brief tsunami warning, without causing damage or injuries.
The earthquake struck 180 km northeast of Gisborne on Friday at 2:27 a.m. local time at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km, according to the American Institute of Geophysics (USGS).
It was felt strongly on the North Island of New Zealand. More than 50,000 people reported this on the local monitoring app Geonet.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii (USA), issued a tsunami warning for some coastal areas of the North Island, before it was raised, after the danger had passed.
The center initially warned of the potential for tsunami waves of up to 0.3 to 1 meter.
As a precaution, the New Zealand National Emergency Operations Management Authority advised residents of North Gisborne to take refuge in the heights, before the alert was also raised.
According to the authority, “According to the latest scientific recommendations and information received from the coastal tsunami indicators, there is no longer any danger.” The evacuees can now return to their homes. “
There were no reports of damage or injuries.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was among those awakened by the earthquakes. “I hope everyone is doing well – especially on the east coast, which must have felt the full force of this earthquake,” she wrote on Instagram.
New Zealand is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a region of tectonic plate intersection with strong seismic and volcanic activity.
The South Pacific country recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.3, which killed 185 people in the city on the South Island.