November 14, 2016 9:56 am

Earthquake hits New Zealand’s South Island

A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake has rocked New Zealand’s South Island, triggering a tsunami and strong aftershocks, and killing at least two people. Authorities said the quake hit just after midnight on Monday near Hanmer Springs, about 90 kilometres from Christchurch, which was devastated five years ago by a 6.3 tremor. The tsunami arrived in the […]

A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake has rocked New Zealand’s South Island, triggering a tsunami and strong aftershocks, and killing at least two people.

A large fissure runs along Kaikoura Road about two hours north of Christchurch after a powerful earthquake. Picture: AP Photo/Joe Morgan.
A large fissure runs along Kaikoura Road about two hours north of Christchurch after a powerful earthquake. Picture: AP Photo/Joe Morgan.

Authorities said the quake hit just after midnight on Monday near Hanmer Springs, about 90 kilometres from Christchurch, which was devastated five years ago by a 6.3 tremor.

The tsunami arrived in the north-eastern coast less than two hours later, with irregular waves of up to two metres being reported in Kaikoura. Authorities say bigger waves are expected.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed two fatalities in a national address, adding officials didn’t declare a national emergency because the country’s regions were coping.

“New Zealanders responded as they should have. They took the (Civil Defence) advice seriously,” he said.

 Meantime, police said they were trying to reach a remote property 150 kilometres north of Christchurch where a casualty, “believed to be a fatality”, has been reported, according to AFP. Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said there were also reports of casualties at the nearby South Island coastal town of Kaikoura, but details were unclear.
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Local media reported emergency services were searching for a missing person in a collapsed homestead near Kaikoura. A second person who had been thought missing in the building was found alive.

The Daily Telegraph