Recent and repeated rain has brought some hope to drought-stricken North Canterbury but now it’s been hit by an earthquake.
Around midnight on Monday 14 November a magnitude 7.5 earthquake occurred 15 km northeast of Culverden in the South Island, at a depth of 15 km. Since then, there have been several severe earthquakes in the Seddon and Kaikoura region. Strong earthquakes have been felt in Wellington. Early indications are that the quakes originated from the Hope Fault.
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) has issued a tsunami warning and land threat from East Cape to Southland, including Wellington (which also includes the Cook Straight area), Marlborough Sounds/Tasman Bay and the Chatham Islands, and a marine and beach threat for all other New Zealand coastal areas.
The first tsunami waves have arrived but it is too early to know what damage or casualties there may have been. Further waves should be expected and may be larger or more dangerous. See the map for more information.
New Zealanders should stay off the beaches, stay out of the water, and not go sightseeing. People are encouraged to keep themselves informed and follow the advice of their local civil defence groups as the situation develops around the country. Spread the word to any family or friends who are living or staying near the coast. Information can be found through radio, TV and social media. If you have been advised to evacuate, follow your local tsunami evacuation procedures.
The response is currently being managed by local authorities. The National Crisis Management Centre has been activated to coordinate central government support as needed. Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management, and civil defence groups will continue to issue advice and updates as we have them. Follow @NZCivilDefence or Facebook NZ Get Thru for our latest information.
Police report two deaths:
Police continue to work with other emergency services and support communities in response to the earthquake which occurred just after midnight.
One casualty has been reported at a collapsed property in Kaikora. Police are also trying to access a property at Mt Lyford north of Christchurch where a further casualty has been reported, which is believed to be a fatality.
Police districts in the North and South Island are working with fire and civil defence to check areas where damage has occurred. . .
Wellington City Council has advised people not to travel into the city this morning. . .
Friends from overseas were on the 10th floor of a hotel in central Wellington and were both literally and figuratively very shaken.
In North Otago we were woken by low level rumbling which lasted a couple of minutes.