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7.2M quake strikes off east coast of North Island

File photo.

UPDATE 3.05AM: Civil Defence is advising people to “move immediately to the nearest high ground”, after a “severe” magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the country.

The earthquake hit at 2.27am on Friday.

It struck 100km to the east of Te Araroa.

The National Emergency Management Agency and GNS Science are assessing whether the M7.3 EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND earthquake at 2021-03-05 2:27 AM has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand, says a post on the Civil Defence website.

"LONG OR STRONG, GET GONE: People near the coast who felt a LONG OR STRONG earthquake that made it hard to stand up, or lasted longer than a minute, should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.

"This evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Do not stay at home if you are near the coast and felt the earthquake LONG or STRONG. Evacuate immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones or as far inland as possible. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and it is safe to do so.

"Do not return until an official all-clear message is given by Civil Defence.

"Walk, run or cycle if at all possible to reduce the chances of getting stuck in traffic congestion.

"If a tsunami has been generated, the first wave may not be the most significant. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat is real until this warning is cancelled."

People in coastal areas should:

  •   •  Follow the "long OR strong, get gone" guidance above

  •   •  Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, and NZCivilDefence Twitter

  •   •  Listen to local Civil Defence authorities

  •   •  Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, this includes boats)

  •   •  Stay off beaches and shore areas

  •   •  Do not go sightseeing

  •   •  Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

"We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed. Updates will be published on our website www.civildefence.govt.nz and Twitter @NZCivilDefence.

"Only messages issued by the National Emergency Management Agency represent the official warning status for New Zealand."

EARLIER: 2.30AM:

Geonet has reported a 7.2 magnitude earthquake east of Te Araroa.

"The quake lasted for a good 30 seconds," says a SunLive reader who lives at Mount Maunganui. "It was rolling back and forth."

The earthquake occurred at 2.27am, at a depth of 94km, 100km east of Te Araroa.

Within minutes, there were more than 34,000 reports of the quake sent in to the GeoNet website, with over 13000 reporting it as a light quake, and nearly 10,000 as a moderate quake.

Facebook group members from Whakamarama to Whakatane have posted online saying they felt the quake.

One person describes the shaking "quite long" and "very noticeable".

"My bed was rocking and I could hear my rocking chair outside moving."

GeoNet is classing this as a severe earthquake.

The National Emergency Management Agency and GNS Science are assessing the earthquake parameters to determine if there is a tsunami risk to New Zealand.

People in coastal areas should:

  1. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, and NZCivilDefence Twitter
  2. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities
  3. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, this includes boats)
  4. Stay off beaches and shore areas
  5. Do not go sightseeing
  6. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

This National Advisory has been issued following a rapid assessment of preliminary earthquake information.

The situation may change as more information becomes available.

"We will send an update when we have completed a further assessment. Updates will also be published on www.civildefence.govt.nz."

 

We are assessing whether the M7.3 EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND earthquake at 2021-03-05 2:27 AM has created a...

Posted by NZ Civil Defence on Thursday, March 4, 2021

The 7.2M earthquake struck 100km east of Te Araroa. Image: GeoNet.

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