Tsunami warning in New Zealand after massive Earthquake - A powerful earthquake has struck the South Island tonight. The quake struck around 9:22pm this evening and was centred off the West Coast of the South Island.
The quake measued 7.8 on the Richter scale according to GNS Science and the US Geological Survey. Reports are coming through the quake could be felt as far away as Wellington and Taranaki in the North Island.
Aftershocks have continued to rock the South Island, including one measuring 6.1 at 9:41pm.
The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre has confirmed a tsunami has been generated, and says people "in areas with threat of land inundation and flooding are strongly advised by emergency authorities to go to higher ground or at least one kilometre inland". It currently measures 17cm according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, but tsunamis increase in size dramatically as they approach the coastline.
The Southland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group is activating their Emergency Operations Centre to assess damage reports.
Emails and calls to 3 News have described the quake as large and long-lasting, but causing minimal damage. Power has been knocked out in Queenstown and Southland. A water main in Winton has reportedly been knocked out. The extent of damage is otherwise still unknown.
Wendy London writes: "I felt the earthquake and a second one or after shock, in Wellington.Im on the 6th floor of a 2 year old apartment block just off Tory Street, and it was a barely perceptible rolling motion."
Mareike Hachemer writes from Dunedin: "Feels as if the house was a boat. Everything is shaking slightly. Lamps and curtain pieces are shaking."
And in Mosgiel, Blake McFarlane writes: "We were in the local United Video and the advertising signs on the roof were swaying something shocking, this was the best earthquake I've ever felt, was real rolling like."
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has issued an advisory statement warning of a possible tsunami threat. It is not yet known if a tsunami has been created, but it says waves can be between five minutes and an hour apart, and the initial wave may not be the largest.
It is believed to be the largest tremor in New Zealand since the 1931 Hawke's Bay quake.
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