New Zealand earthquake: Two dead following powerful tremor

A powerful magnitude-7.8 earthquake has struck New Zealand’s South Island, killing at least two people.

The quake hit just after midnight on Monday (11:02 GMT on Sunday), north-east of Christchurch.

It was felt as far afield as the capital Wellington on the North Island, 120 miles (200km) away.

A tsunami arrived about two hours later. Officials warned everyone along the eastern coast to head inland or for higher ground.

Police said one person died in the town of Kaikoura on the eastern coast, which has been cut off by road and where electric power is out and phones are down.

Another died in Mount Lyford, a ski resort nearby. It is not yet clear how they were killed.

Tsunami waves

A gauge at Kaikoura, 181 km (112 miles) north of Christchurch, measured a wave of 2.5m (8ft 2ins) in the early hours of the morning, according to Weatherwatch.co.nz.

At one point, the ministry of civil defence suggested tsunami waves as tall as five metres could hit the eastern coast.

But just after 08:00 local time (19:00 GMT), the warning was scaled back to a “marine and beach threat” with waves of just one metre along a small stretch of coast.

Aftershocks continued throughout Monday morning. Many schools and offices stayed closed while engineers checked the buildings, and ferries and trains were cancelled.

A paved road is lifted at the ports in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, following an earthquake

 

New Zealand residents camp near the top of Mt Victoria, the highest hill in Wellington

 

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Source: BBC

 

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