New Zealand – Tsunami warning eased after three huge tremors
The nation had been on Tsunami alert all morning after a powerful magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck near the Kermadec Islands. It was the third large quake recorded north of New Zealand in a matter of hours. New Zealand downgraded a tsunami warning Friday, allowing thousands who evacuated coastal areas in the north of its North Island to return home.
The final quake had a magnitude of 8.1 and struck the Kermadec Islands, northeast of New Zealand’s North Island.It came shortly after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in the same region. A large 7.3 magnitude earthquake had struck earlier, about 540 miles away on the east of the North Island.
Chaos emerged in several parts of the country as people scrambled to get to higher ground amid the tsunami warnings, causing traffic jams in some places. The 7.3 magnitude quake was the largest in a series of tremors that struck the region over several hours, including two earlier tremors that registered with magnitudes over seven.
“GNS Science has advised that the largest waves have now passed, and therefore the threat level is now downgraded to a Beach and Marine threat for all areas which were previously under Land and Marine threat,” the National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement. “All people who evacuated can now return.”