People watch for signs of a tsunami from a hill above Papamoa Beach, New Zealand, as a tsunami warning is issued Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP)
People watch for signs of a tsunami from a hill above Papamoa Beach, New Zealand, as a tsunami warning is issued Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP)

3 earthquakes and a tsunami warning. Here's what happened in New Zealand

The Pacific and Australian plates interaction is behind this one of the most seismically active tectonic atmospheres in the world.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:24 PM IST

New Zealand was hit by three powerful earthquakes, triggering tsunami warnings on Friday. The Kermadec islands region which is around 1,000km from New Zealand was hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

Here is what had happened:

> As per the US Geological Survey, the 8.1 magnitude earthquake near the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand was the result of reverse faulting in the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone. The location, depth and style of the faulting indicated its occurrence on or near the west-dipping subducting plate interface between the Pacific and Australia plates.

> About 107 minutes prior to the 8.1-quake, a 7.4 magnitude quake had hit 50km west. The proximity and the timing of the 7.4 magnitude earthquake have indicated to be the foreshock of the largest earthquake. The US Geological Survey also said that in terms of seismic moment, the 8.1 magnitude earthquake was 11 times larger than the foreshocks.

> A 7.3 oblique reverse faulting earthquake had also hit the country 6 hours prior to the 8.1-quake and 900km south to it. However, as per the US Geological Survey, the changes induced by this quake does not signify any relation with the 7.4-foreshocks or 8.1-earthquake.

> The Pacific and Australian plates interaction is behind this one of the most seismically active tectonic atmospheres in the world.

> As per the US Geological Survey, over 215 earthquakes greater than the magnitude of 6 have taken place within the 250km radius of the 8.1-quake that hit the Pacific region on Friday.

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> The Friday quake is considered to be the largest of the century as the previous earthquake with a magnitude of 8 had hit the area in January 1976, which occurred more than 10km to the north. The quake caused no casualties and no damage.

> The National Emergency Management Agency had alerted the citizens to get out of their homes and reach a higher surface as a Tsunami warning was sounded.

> Emergency Management minister Kiri Allan had asked the residents to evacuate and warned them that the danger can prevail throughout the afternoon.

> The National Emergency Management Agency of New Zealand on March 5, 3:43pm (local time) cancelled the national advisory that was issued following the earthquake. It said that as per the GNS Science, the beach and marine threats have now passed for all areas based on ocean observation.

> However, the agency has also said that strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges will continue for up to another 24 hours and people should remain vigilant. It asked people to take precautions with respect to beach and ocean activities.

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