7.4-magnitude earthquake rattles New Zealand

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that a 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand today. It is still unclear whether the earthquake caused injuries or damage. The authorities have warned the public about possible tidal waves occurring within the next few hours. The epicenter of the earthquake was detected just 90 kilometers from Christchurch where a devastating earthquake happened in 2011.
Five years ago, a grave earthquake hit the country Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand today (Sunday). The earthquake was felt near the city of Christchurch, the third largest city in New Zealand, on the coast of New Zealand’s South Island. So far, no reports of casualties or property damage were called in but the New Zealand Institute of Geophysics reported that tidal waves of up to a meter were measured along the east coast of South Island.

The authorities have warned civilians of 2-meter-high tidal waves that could reach the shore on the east coast of the island within the next few hours. "It is a relatively substantially big wave and people need to take it seriously," said one of the researchers from the New Zealand Institutes of Geophysics.

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Archive Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The country's entire east coast is threatened by dangerous waves, the New Zealand Civil Defense said on Twitter in an advisory warning, adding that initial waves may not be the largest and that they could continue for several hours. "Move inland or to higher ground immediately," the warning read.

Rabbi Dor from the Chabad House in Christchurch told Channel 2 Online News: "It was a long and strong earthquake. It was a little unnerving but everything is ok. The sirens went off on time and we didn't hear of any damage. We have the occasional small earthquakes here but this time it was really strong and went on for a while."

Photo Credit: Sky News / Channel 2 News

About 5 years ago, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, the epicenter only 10 kilometers southeast from the city. As a result, 185 people were killed and buildings throughout the city sustained substantial damage.

Following that earthquake, many buildings collapsed including the Christchurch Cathedral tower. Experts estimated that this earthquake was actually an aftershock from another earthquake that happened in 2010 but only caused small damages.

Photo Credit: CNN / Channel 2 News

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