New Zealand Earthquake: Tsunami Threat Over
By Anissa Haddadi | July 7, 2011 10:12 AM GMT
A tsunami sparked by a powerful 7.6-magitude quake failed to materialize on New Zealand's shores, but Civil Defense says people should expect high tides within the next 24 hours.
The quake struck at 7.03am (NZT) at a depth of 20km, according to the US Geological Service. It was felt in Wellington and parts of the East Coast of the North Island.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
The July 6 tsunami warnings have been lifted
The July 6 tsunami warnings have been lifted
It was originally reported to be magnitude 7.8 at a depth of 48km but USGS has revised it to magnitude 7.6.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu said a tsunami had been generated and could be around a metre high when it arrives at New Zealand.
The USGS said tsunamis had already struck the Kermadec Islands and Raoul Island this morning. The waves were 68cm and 84cm high before adding it had issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand, affecting East Cape, North Cape, Gisborne and Auckland.
However, the Pacific Warning Centre based in Hawaii called off its tsunami warning after the 7.6 earthquake in the Kermadecs before the Civil Defence did.
Civil Defence Minister Craig Foss says the chain of command here is clear.
"The official advisory body is New Zealand Civil Defence and the messages they sent erring on the side of caution was correct as normal."
Dr Suart Weinstein from the Centre told Radio New Zealand said the warning has become too confused, and it undermines the warnings from national authorities.
"Their decisions are in effect short circuited because the public has access to our bulletins.
"It is a problem."
Dr Weinstein says the Centre may assign threat levels instead, but discussions are still taking place as to what shape those bulletins will take.
Meanwhile scientists say New Zealand was never in any danger of a large tsunami hitting its shores, as the seismic energy from a huge earthquake north of the country was directed away from here.
Emergency Preparedness For Earthquakes...Here is a lesson....What to Do During an Earthquake
Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
- DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
- Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- Stay there.
- Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
- Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move about or kick up dust.
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.