NEW ZEALAND Rocked By A FOURTH Earthquake, This Time 6.5 Magnitude
New Zealand has been rocked by a fourth earthquake, a 6.5 magnitude tremor again hitting the North Island at 12.12pm local time, with residents fleeing their homes for higher ground amid tsunami fears.
Footage on social media taken at Tokomaru Bay, on the North Island shows a wall of water crashing ashore, and there are tsunami warnings issued by the authorities for Friday morning. Waves as high as three metres are expected to hit the Kermadecs and one metre high waves are likely to batter parts of the North Island.
Three previous quakes, the first at 2.27 local time, of 7.3 magnitude on the Richter scale, hitting the North Island, followed by a second tremor of 7.4 near the Kermadec Islands four hours later, and then an 8.1 magnitude hit at 8.28am.
A tsunami warning has been issued for as far away as Hawaii, which is more than 7,500 kilometres away.
Long queues of traffic have been filmed, as residents move to higher ground, as homes were evacuated by the authorities from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay, and Whakatane, Opotiki and Great Barrier Island.
A coastguard named Craig, being interviewed in Whakatane said, “I’m leaving right now. The whole town is evacuating. We are sensible down here”, while Rhys Owen, a resident of Ruakākā, drove up the main road to a friend’s house and said it took 35 minutes, instead of the usual five.
Whananaki school principal Shaun Tepania, who evacuated staff and students to higher ground, described it as a “surreal experience”, adding, “We’re sitting up overlooking the estuary. It all seems okay for the time being, but the tide is going out when it is supposed to be coming in, which we have all been discussing”.
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