An earthquake, measuring over 7.5 on the richter scale, occurred at southeast of Loyalty Islands in the South Pacific, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said on Wednesday, multiple agencies reported.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, however, put the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.6, reported Reuters. The quake’s epicentre was 401 km east of Tadine in New Caledonia, and its depth was 2 km, the centre said.
The Bureau of Meterology, Australia, said that the earthquake’s magnitude was 7.5, and later confirmed the tsunami.
Authorities in New Zealand issued a tsunami advisory. “We have issued a NATIONAL ADVISORY: TSUNAMI ACTIVITY following the magnitude 7.7 earthquake near SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS,” the agency tweeted. “We expect New Zealand coastal areas to experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore.”
The agency also shared a map highlighting the areas that may be affected due to the tsunami. “Strong currents and surges can injure and drown people,” the agency said in another tweet. “People in or near the sea in these areas should move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries.”
“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within the next three hours,” the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, according to AFP.
The agency said there was no need to evacuate any other area in New Zealand unless directly advised by local authorities. “The first tsunami activity causing these strong currents and surges may reach New Zealand in the areas around North Cape at approximately 04:20am NZDT [8:50 pm IST],” another tweet said. “This may be later and the first tsunami activity may not be the most significant.”