Residents of New Zealand’s North Island are continuing to evacuate to higher ground after a fourth earthquake has hit in the last hour, this time with a magnitude of 6.5.
Locals had already been on the move after authorities issued tsunami warnings following three strong earthquakes hit earlier this morning.
“We want everyone to take this threat seriously. Move to high ground,” Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai told TVNZ.
New Zealand’s Emergency Minister said messages from Civil Defence regarding the risk of tsunami outweighed the current COVID advice and restrictions.
One of this morning’s quakes was a magnitude-8.1 quake, which struck the north-eastern Kermadec Islands at 8:28am (6:28am AEDT), following a magnitude-7.4 quake in the same region which hit at 6:40am (4:40am AEDT).
Earlier, at 2.27am (12.27am AEDT), a magnitude-7.2 quake hit further down the east coast, at a depth of 10km under the ocean.
New Zealand meteorologist Ben Noll posted the sounds of the warning sirens on twitter.
— Ben Noll (@BenNollWeather) March 4, 2021
Tsunami warnings from authorites extended as far as Hawaii, which is more than 7,500km away.
Residents of American Samoa (Utulei) were captured on video evacuating to higher grounds earlier this morning.
Evacuating to higher ground in American Samoa (Utulei) due to Tsunami warning & 7.3 magnitude earthquake (N of New Zealand). First wave expected at 10:19 AM AST 🌊 🇦🇸 🚨 #Weather #TsunamiWarning #Earthquake pic.twitter.com/sDiDyhwfrJ
— Patrick Ti’auliva’a Reid (@PTReid684) March 4, 2021
At this point, there have been no reported fatalities or injuries, and no buildings appear to have been damaged.
Photo: NASA image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.