Monday, October 12, 2015

No tsunami threat after 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocks central NZ

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management  says there's no tsunami threat following an intense 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the lower North Island tonight.

The quake hit at 9.05pm, 15 kilometres east of Pongaroa in the Taraua district at a depth of 30 km.

At least 15 aftershocks have been recorded in the region since.

The ministry has issued an earthquake advisory saying the magnitude is provisional and may be increased or decreased as more seismic data becomes available.

It's assessing information with the assistance of scientific advisers and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups. 

The ministry says people in the affected area should expect aftershocks and remember to drop, cover and hold. 


"Look after yourself and get first aid if necessary.  Help others if you can," the advisory says.  

"Assess your home or workplace for damage.  If the building appears unsafe get everyone out.  Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines.  Stay out of damaged areas."

Residents should also look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so as fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.
Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.

"Help people who require special assistance - infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities and the people who care for them," it says.

Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.

More than 4,700 people have reported feeling the tremor from the upper North Island to the bottom of the South Island.

The quake followed a swarm of smaller tremors centres in the Pongaroa region over several hours.

There are reports of houses shaking in Pongaroa, but no damage.

Rob Clark at Waipukurau has emailed ONE News saying: "Just felt a good jolt in Waipukurau. Shook a couple of ornaments of the bookshelf."
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