New Zealand earthquake: two dead, aftershocks continue

The first earthquake struck about 50 miles southwest of Kaikoura and 50 miles north of Christchurch.

The east coast of New Zealand’s South Island witnessed a powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude on early Monday, which led tsunami waves while leaving atleast two dead.

In a report of Geoscience Australia, it has been informed that continuing the earthquake there were multitude of around 12 aftershocks witnessed, first was 6.4 magnitude in the same region, northeast of Christchurch, while others were between 5.1 and 6.4 magnitude.

However following such aftershocks, the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management warned people living near the coast to move inland to higher ground as tsunami waves raised seawater levels in some places by about six feet, New York Times reported.

Officials of capital city, Wellington had urged public to stay out of the city’s central business district until the risk of damage to buildings could be assessed. Furthermore, Reuters reported that Prime Minister John Key said the earthquake had killed at least two people, “We don’t have any indications at the moment to believe it will rise, but we can’t rule that out.”

In a report, Caroline Little, a spokeswoman for GeoNet New Zealand, which monitors geological hazards, said seismologists had modeled the probability of the number and intensity of aftershocks on Monday morning. “We expect aftershocks for weeks, maybe months,” she said.

In a report of The New Zealand Herald, it was said that among two dead, one was caused by heart attack and other was in a historic homestead near the beach town of Kaikoura. While in the latest update, it has been reported from Kaikoura that six people with significant injuries have been flown to Christchurch, while 15 remain with cuts, bruises and broken bones.

It has been reported that the first earthquake struck about 50 miles southwest of Kaikoura and 50 miles north of Christchurch. Elliot Fim, a regional official in Christchurch informed that people living along about 200 miles of coastline had been evacuated.

It is to be noted that in 2011, an earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude devastated Christchurch and killed 185 people. However, the officials have said that this earthquake was about 40 to 50 times as large as the one in 2011.