Tsunami Hits Central New Zealand After Quakes

Tsunami Hits Central New Zealand After QuakesTsunami Hits Central New Zealand After Quakes

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck central New Zealand just after midnight (1102 GMT Sunday), the US Geological Survey said, generating a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of the South Island.

New Zealand’s Civil Defense warned residents along the country’s entire east coast to seek higher ground, Reuters reported.

Anna Kaiser, a seismologist at GNS Science, said a tidal signal or surge of up to 1 meter (3 feet) had been recorded in North Canterbury region of the South Island.

“That’s reasonably significant so people should take this seriously,” she told Radio New Zealand.

The quake was centered 91 km (57 miles) north-northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island. A 6.3 quake there in February 2011 killed 185 people and caused widespread damage.

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