Tsunami hits New Zealand after series of strong quakes

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck central New Zealand just after midnight (1102 GMT Sunday), the U.S. Geological Survey said, generating a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of the South Island.

New Zealands Civil Defence warned residents along the countrys entire east coast to seek higher ground.

Anna Kaiser, a seismologist at GNS Science said a tidal signal or surge of up to one metre (3 feet) had been recorded in

North Canterbury region of the South Island.

“Thats reasonably significant so people should take this seriously,” she told Radio New Zealand.

The quake was centered 91 km (57 miles) north-northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on New Zealands South Island. A

6.3 quake there in February 2011 killed 185 people and caused widespread damage.

The tremor, which was measured by New Zealands Geonet at magnitude 6.6, was felt throughout most of New Zealand. Civil

Defence said it was too early to assess the damage or whether there had been any injuries or deaths.

“The whole house rolled like a serpent and some things smashed, the power went out,” a woman who gave her name as

Elizabeth told Radio New Zealand from her home in Takaka, near the top of the South Island.

Residents in Wellington said glass had fallen from buildings into the streets.

A series of aftershocks were recorded around the country, some as strong as 6.1 magnitude.

Source: Antara News