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NZ earthquakes: Tsunami warnings lifted after evacuations

March 5, 2021 1:56 pm
Large parts of the North Island's east coast were under threat of a tsunami [Source: BBC]

New Zealanders have been told to move away from coastal areas of the North Island after three powerful earthquakes shook the region.

The national emergency agency warned of a tsunami threat with “unpredictable surges” expected along the east coast.

There were reports of chaos in some towns as hundreds of people tried to reach higher ground.

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Authorities said the largest waves had passed. Residents were told they could return home but were warned to stay off beaches.

The South Pacific archipelagos of New Caledonia and Vanuatu were also warned to prepare for dangerous waves.

Their coasts could see wave surges as high as 3m (10ft), while parts of South America – including Peru, Ecuador and Chile – were warned they could see 1m waves reaching their coasts.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said “tsunami waves have been observed”, but as yet no damage has been reported.

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