Thousands of people fled the coast of New Zealand in search of shelter in the hills, fearing the possibility of a tsunami due to a very strong earthquake that hit the ocean, in the local morning, at a depth of about ten kilometers.
But a few hours later the biggest waves passed, and the tsunami warning was over, so it was possible to go home. The Minister of Natural Heritage Preservation, Kerry Allan, announced on Twitter. “The research institute informed GNS Science that the largest waves had passed – Alan wrote – thus lowering the tsunami warning to the risk of a strong storm in the areas concerned so far. All evacuees from their homes – he announces – can now return. Going to beaches and coastal areas is valid – and it concludes.”
An ocean rift off the coast of New Zealand was hit by three powerful tremors that were gradually increasing in strength. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff tweeted: “I don’t even want to say it but I’m listening. Department of emergency in Auckland and follow the instructions for your area: stay away from the water (sea, rivers, coasts, boats), away from beaches and do not look.”
According to the US Geological Survey, the first earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.4, hit the ocean belt in front of the Kermadec Islands, the second, with a magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter scale, shook the sea off the east coast of New Zealand, and finally the earthquake in Italy tonight. Calculated with a force of 8.1 and again in the area facing the Kermadec Islands.
The Civil Protection had already issued a tsunami warning of the first shock, but after this last shock, several warnings were issued, advising coastal residents to carry out all measures to avoid a possible flood wave. “Although it is certain that waves and currents of anomalous intensity will reach New Zealand, unfortunately the size of the wave and the strength of the current that will hit the coast cannot be predicted.”