Powerful 7.1 magnitude quake hits New Zealand

  • Gayathri Mathivanan
  • |
  • September 1, 2016, 11:10 PM

 

A strong magnitude 7.1 earthquake rattled the coast of New Zealand's North Island on Friday morning, triggering a small tsunami but not causing any major damage.

 

The quake struck just over 169km (105 miles) northeast of the city of Gisborne on Friday morning and had a depth of 19.1 miles (30km).

 

Authorities asked people in the Tolaga Bay area to leave their homes.

 

Some damage to property has been reported, but no injuries.

 

Local civil defence officials said it was now safe Gisborne residents to return, but advised them to stay away from beaches, streams and estuaries, saying the tsunami threat had not entirely lifted.

 

"It was very violent," Bill Martin, the owner of a holiday park in Te Araroa said. "It lasted maybe about 10 seconds but it seemed like an eternity."

 

Each year more than 15,000 earthquakes are recorded in New Zealand, but only about 150 are large enough to be felt.

 

In 2011, the city of Christchurch on South Island was devastated by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that left 185 people dead.

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