New Zealand earthquake: Tsunami warnings lifted; thousands of people allowed to return home
Authorities in New Zealand stated that thousands of people who had evacuated amid the earthquake could now return to their homes
Small tsunami waves activated by a series of powerful South Pacific earthquakes hit the east coast of New Zealand's on Friday. Authorities now stated thousands of people who had evacuated amid the earthquake could now return to their homes.
Sirens signalled across Noumea as authorities ordered evacuations due to fears that waved of up three metres (10 feet). Evacuation orders were declared for people living in coastal areas of the North Island after the strongest earthquake hit. Earlier, the National Emergency Agency warned of a tsunami threat along the east coast. But later, authorities said the largest waves had passed. People were asked to return home but were warned to stay off beaches. Also, there were reports of chaos in some towns as hundreds of people tried to reach higher ground.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Instagram wrote: “Hope everyone is ok out there.” The three earthquakes hit during early hours at magnitudes of over seven. The most powerful, at 8.1 magnitude, struck near uninhabited Kermadec Islands, 1000 km (621 miles) north-east of New Zealand.
Recently, New Zealand observed the 10th anniversary of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that damaged parts of Christchurch in the South Island, with 185 losing their lives.