A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck North East of Christchurch in New Zealand, causing large scale destruction and is expected to have caused multiple injuries. Fatality reports have not yet been heard.
The initial earthquake reportedly lasted for one minute straight, with Twitter users in New Zealand reporting of “long, continuous shaking” followed by dozens of aftershocks.
The New Zealand Civil Defense shortly added that large tsunamis are expected on the island all along the East coast, warning:
“The first wave activity may not be the most significant,” it said in a bulletin, adding tsunami activity would continue for several hours.”
Initial reports suggest that the ‘peak’ of the tsunami activity may see waves as tall as 2 metres high – a monumental impact on the relatively shallow coastal areas of the island of New Zealand. The Civil Defense suggests people living along the vast coastlines should move inland and above ground one xoectatuon of large tsunami activity.
Prime Minister of NZ, John Key, tweeted:
“I hope everyone is safe after the earthquake tonight.”
New Zealand is located on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, which form part of the aptly named “Ring of Fire”, and as such experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.