New Zealand Decrees The Tsunami Alert And Orders The Evacuation Of Coastal Areas

New Zealand has begun the evacuation of some coastal areas due to the threat of the tsunami detected this afternoon by the United States Geological Survey (USGS, in English). The tsunami, the third of the day, finds its origin in an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 on the Richter scale in the north of the country.

According to the USGS, the earthquake had its epicenter in the Kermandec Islands and occurred at 19.28 GMT this Thursday. The alert for possible tsunamis extends to Guam, the Cook Islands and Hawaii.

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The New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency has drawn up a map by areas in which it warns of the risk of flooding in the north of the country and raises the threat to the beaches and ports of practically the entire archipelago. The authorities have asked citizens to try to reach high ground and march towards the interior of the islands avoiding, as far as possible, the use of cars in order to prevent possible traffic jams.

The USGS has updated the strength of the earthquake, which has had a depth of 19 kilometers and has been preceded by tremors of lesser intensity, since, initially, they had calculated a magnitude 8 on the Richter scale.

The US Tsunami Warning Center has issued tsunami “threat” warnings for New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, the Cook Islands, the Polynesian Islands and those of American Samoa due to the possibility of a rise in waters up to one meter in coastal areas.

Previously, in the same area, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake shook the waters northeast of New Zealand, causing an initial tsunami warning that was later withdrawn, without material damage or casualties. That earthquake was located 178 kilometers northeast of Gisborn and 228 east of Whakatane, both cities on the North Island of the country.

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