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New Zealand Earthquake: 5 Crucial Facts You Need to Know

posted by Breanna Khorrami 0 comments
New Zealand Earthquake: 5 Crucial Facts You Need to Know - Citizen Slant

Early Monday morning, New Zealand was hit with one of the most powerful earthquakes recorded in recent years, causing damage to buildings and prompting emergency services to warn people along the coast to move to higher ground amid concerns of Tsunamis.

The earthquake knocked out New Zealand’s emergency call number, 111, for about 10 minutes, according to police reports.

Here are five crucial facts that you need to know regarding the devastating quake:

1. The epicenter was in the rural area about 57 miles north-northeast of the city of Christchurch just after midnight local time on Monday. It measured an astounding 7.8 on the Richter scale. Here is footage taken the moment the earthquake hit:

Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island. A 6.3 magnitude earthquake there in February, 2011 killed 185 people. Christchurch is till recovering from that quake.

2. People who live along the east coast of the country have been told to retreat to higher ground immediately due to warnings of Tsunamis. The threat could last for hours, and the first wave may not be the biggest one.

The Ministry of Civil Defense & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has issued a tsunami warning from East Cape to Southland, including the capital city of Wellington, Marlborough Sounds/Tasman Bay and the Chatham Islands. Current assessments indicate that waves of up to 9 to 15 feet along the coastlines closest to the earthquake epicenter can be expected in some areas.

Tsunamis have been created by the quake already and the first waves have arrived but more and larger ones are expected. The first Tsunami arrived in the north eastern coast about two hours after the main temblor.

3. The quake has been felt in Wellington and as far south ad Dunedin. There have been at least 45 aftershocks. At least five of those have been severe, ranging from 5.6 to 7.5, and at least nine other aftershocks have been registered as ‘strong.’

New Zealand lies on the notorious Ring of Fire, the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

4. Reports and images show damage to roads, bridges and buildings across the islands. Power is out in many towns on South Island’s east coast, including Picton, Blenheim and Kaikoura.

 

5. Details on injuries and fatalities are just emerging. The first casualties have been confirmed on the east coast of South Island. Areas of the highest concern include the city of Kaikoura — which is on the east coast of South Island — and the capital, Wellington. Residents of both have been evacuated.

Rescue helicopters have been deployed to Kaikoura along with paramedics.

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