Tsunami Warning Issued After 8.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near New Zealand

March 4, 2021 Updated: March 4, 2021

A tsunami warning was issued after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit near the coast of New Zealand on Thursday.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake hit approximately 500 miles northeast of Auckland, striking in the Pacific Ocean near the Kermadec Islands. It came after a 7.3 magnitude tremor struck near Gisborne.

The 8.1 quake prompted New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency to once again issue a tsunami advisory.

The agency warned on Twitter: “TSUNAMI WARNING issued following Kermadecs earthquake. People near coast from the BAY OF ISLANDS to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY, and GREAT BARRIER ISLAND must MOVE IMMEDIATELY to nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.”

A tsunami watch was issued for Hawaii following the 8.1 magnitude earthquake as seismologists are still calculating to see if a tsunami was created by the second temblor.

In Hawaii, the tsunami “could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter.”

Of the earlier quake, Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz told TV New Zealand, “I’ve heard reports of little bits of damage, nothing major at this stage.”

According to the USGS, at least eight aftershocks were reported after the first quake today.

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people and doing significant damage.