Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Off East Coast Shakes North Island

Publish Date
Friday, 2 September 2016, 6:54AM


Civil Defence officials have issued a tsunami warning following a 7.1 quake that shook North Island this morning.

The quake hit at 4.37am, around 100km northeast of the East Cape settlement of Te Araroa, at a depth of 55km.

Shortly after 6am a potential tsunami threat was upgraded to a warning by Civil Defence.

Those living in coastal areas should be aware tsunami currents and surges were possible.

They asked people to listen to radio and TV for further updates and follow the instructions of their local Civil Defence authorities.

The warning covers the East coast of the North Island, including Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty and the upper South Island.

Civil Defence has had it confirmed a tsunami was generated at East Cape, with a wave measuring 30cm around 6am.

"Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled," Civil Defence said in a statement.

People living along Gisborne district's coastline are being told by local Civil Defence authorities to go to higher ground or as far inland as possible.

Tairawhiti Civil Defence said people should take their radios with them and listen to further instructions and advice from Civil Defence.

Gisborne Controller John Clarke reported surges of about 30cm had been recorded at Gisborne port and the gauge at East Cape, which enforces the need for people to stay away from the coast.

The jolt lasted for almost a minute and was felt across much of the North Island.

The quake was followed by several moderate-sized aftershocks, including a M5.6 jolt at 5.01am, and a M4.6 quake at 5.03am.

The Fire Service central communications centre says it's had no emergency calls.

WeatherWatch described the series of quakes, which began with the 7.1 magnitude shortly after 4.30am and followed with a series of moderate and weak quakes over a span of about 20 minutes as a "rolling earthquake."

"The quake was so strong it was felt in Wellington too - and some reports were trickly in from the South Island as we wrote this," said head analyst Philip Duncan."

Plenty of Aucklanders felt the quake, something Duncan said was unusual.

East coast residents in the Coromandel and the Hawke's Bay also reported being waken by the shaking.

People in the above/ coastal areas should:

1. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
2. Stay off beaches and shore areas
3. Do not go sightseeing
4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
5. Check this website, listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
6. Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities

via NZ Herald

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