4:25pm LATEST: - Tsunami threat remains for New Zealand: Civil Defence says dangerous currents/tidal surges possible. - Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has cancelled its warning for New Zealand - Tsunami measured just 4cms.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has confirmed a tsunami has been generated by a large earthquake off Vanuatu.
Civil Defence said a tsunami measuring 4cms was recorded off Vanuatu and advised New Zealanders to stay off beaches and out of boats.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in Vanuatu after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off Santo island at 11.03am NZT.
A second earthquake measuring 7.3 struck 15 minutes later, and a third at 12.13pm measuring 6.2.
The centre said the tsunami “may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicentre and could also be a threat to more distant coasts”.
People on the west coast of New Zealand from North Cape to Hokitika and on the east coast from North Cape to Auckland should stay away from beaches and avoid boating, Civil Defence warned.
However, the department says a destructive tsunami in NZ is “unlikely”.
The Ministry of Civil Defence is advising of a potential tsunami threat to New Zealand from an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 at Vanuatu.
An advisory is being sent to all responding agencies, including Fire, Police, local authorities and others to put them on standby.
The public is advised to not be on beaches or in boats near the coast.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has issued a warning for Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off Vanuatu.
New Zealand, Samoa and Australia are among places on tsunami watch.
The centre says it is not known whether a tsunami has been generated but an earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive wave that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours.
An advisory is being sent to all responding agencies, including Fire, Police, Coastguard, local authorities and others to put them on standby.
The Ministry of Civil Defence has advised of the potential tsunami threat to New Zealand. The public is advised to not be on beaches or in boats near the coast.
The quake struck 294km northwest of the Vanuatu island of Santo and 596km northwest of the capital of Port Vila at a depth of 35km.
There were no immediate reports of injury or damage from officials in Vanuatu, a collection of nearly 200 islands.
The latest warning comes just two weeks after a quake of magnitude 8.3 rocked the South Pacific near Samoa, sparking tsunami waves that killed at least 180 people and devastated coastal villages in Samoa, American Samoa and in northern Tonga.
Tsunami warning is in effect for:
Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Kiribati, Kosrae, Wallis-Futuna, Howland-Baker
A tsunami watch is in effect for:
Various countries including New Zealand, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Australia
– AP, NEWSTALK ZB, NZ HERALD STAFF
on 8/10/2009 1:58am
I checked the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre site, and they had wave measurements of arounnd 0.03 – 0.10 metres. That’d mean only 3 – 10cm waves. Civil Defence not getting it right again? No way!
on 8/10/2009 3:10am
We were originally told 0.4metres – turns out it was 0.04metres.
So we have updated to say "4cms".