On Monday, New Zealand was struck by a powerful earthquake that left two people dead. Following the earthquake that damaged buildings and roads, a tsunami warning was issued. Those nearby were frightened by the possibility and rushed to a higher leveled ground.
The earthquake had a 7.8 magnitude, which was about 57 miles northeast of Christchurch, located in the South Island. Emergency response teams flew in by helicopter. There were hundreds of aftershocks that followed, with the strongest aftershock having a 6.1 magnitude. The aftershocks caused New Zealand to shake, until the following day. The earthquake struck at midnight.
Once it was daylight, the next day, the damage that was done to the roads and the infrastructure were highly visible. The attack cause telecommunications and powerlines to be down. John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand announced at a news conference, “It was the most significant shock I can remember in Wellington. There will be quite major costs around roads and infrastructure.” Key was promised assistance from Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull.
The earthquake brought back memories to residents that were affected by the 2011 earthquake that had a 6.3 magnitude. In 2011, there were 185 people killed. The U.S. Geological Survey measured Monday’s quake at 7.8 magnitude, while the New Zealand’s Geonet had it measured at 7.5. The earthquake was 14 miles deep and awoke most of those that were asleep.
Afterwards, there was a tsunami warning, but it was downgraded following the large swells that hit Christchurch and Wellington. The tsunami warning caused a mass of evacuations from the area. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island. According to John Mackie, the civil defence controller for Christchurch said that the seismic activity may cause movement in the sea and generate a tsunami.