(Wellington) A tsunami warning was issued across the Pacific on Friday after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake near Kermadec Island, an uninhabited Pacific island that forms part of New Zealand.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), located in Hawaii, has warned that waves up to three meters high could hit Vanuatu and French New Caledonia.
The organization added that smaller waves are more likely to reach countries as far from the epicenter as Japan, Russia and Mexico, as well as the shores of South America.
“Tsunami waves were detected,” the agency added, explaining that small waves had already been measured near Nukualofa, capital of Tonga.
The New Zealand emergency services also ordered the evacuation of coastal areas on long parts of the northern part of New Zealand (North Island), after this seemingly unearthed earthquake, which occurred 1,000 kilometers away, according to the US Geological Survey.
The National Emergency Management Agency has ordered “the people (who) near the coast in the following areas should move immediately to the nearest heights, or outside of all evacuation areas, or as far inland as possible”.
“Don’t stay home!” I warned.
In New Caledonia, a tsunami warning was also issued.
“A wave of one to three meters will affect the whole of New Caledonia. People should leave the beaches and stop all marine activities, and children should not be picked up from school so that there is no congestion,” he told NC Radio.Return Alexandre Rossignol, a civil security spokesman, reported a “real threat” because the wave, expected around 10 am (midnight in Paris), could “penetrate the Earth”.
The earthquake, which occurred at 8:28 a.m. local time (2:28 p.m. Thursday), was preceded by earthquakes of magnitude 7.4 and 6.9 in the same area.
Its size was initially estimated at 7.8.
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