Tsunami threat sparked by powerful 7.4 earthquake that hit Christ Church in New Zealand – Mirror.co.uk

An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 has struck near Christchurch, New Zealand, triggering a tsunami warning.

The quake hit 57 miles north east of the city, which is on the east coast of the country’s South Island.

It struck in the early hours of Monday morning in Christchurch which was reduced to rubble by an earthquake just five years ago.

The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency management tweeted: “Situation has changed – tsunami is possible.

“People near the coast in the south island should move to high ground or inland.”

Today’s earthquake measured more powerfully on the Richter scale than 2011’s 6.3 quake.

Power lines and phone lines are said to be down, including emergency lines to police, fire and ambulance services.

Others reported that the emergency number 111 was back up and running.

Anthropology student Heather McMillan said her home shook “like jelly” when the earthquake struck as she was getting ready for bed, and she feared it was going to collapse.

The 20-year-old told Mirror Online: “When it started it was really big so I thought it was going to be short but it kept going for a good few minutes and felt like the second floor was going to fall down.

“Very quickly you realise it’s an earthquake because I’ve felt one before. “But this was a different level. I honestly thought it was going to last for 20 minutes or longer.

“I live in the second storey of a flat and it was like a rolling feeling from the house. The aftershocks have felt like we’re a ship at sea.

”She said the tremor lasted around five minutes but it felt like forever”.

She added: “I think it’s one of those moments when you start thinking whether this is it? Like the big earthquake that’s going to put Christchurch back into the place it was five years ago?”

Heather said her flat did not suffer any damage, but her parents in Wellington were without power and had some belongings damaged as the earthquake shook their home.

Patsy Knight told Mirror Online that aftershocks were still continuing 20 minutes after the quake.

She said: “We’re in Wellington and absolutely terrifying. Smashed glass everywhere, but thankfully all good. Not much sleep happening though, kids with us. Aftershocks continuously happening!”

Chef Tim Owen, 29, was at home in Halswell, a satellite town of Christchurch, when the earthquake hit.

He said: “It went on for like a minute or so, which is quite long. It felt like swaying and like a wave.

“We just got up from the couch and stood in the doorway. It does make you feel very anxious not knowing if it will get worse or when it may stop.”

The earthquake was felt as far away as Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Hamilton.

In Hamilton, Wayne Timmo woke to the kitchen blinds banging against the window and said the quake felt like a “long slow, rolling or almost rotating motion”.

He told Stuff.co.NZ: “The water in the neighbour’s swimming pool was left sloshing around for about a minute and people woken by the quake came out onto the street to talk about it.

“The cat has disappeared and the neighbours dog is upset.”

@kaiitlin
Earthquake in New Zealand kaitlin in Wellington

Kaitlin in Wellington posted a picture of her home, showing her possessions strewn around the room following the earthquake

In Nelson, resident Jo Davis grabbed her children and sheltered in a doorway as the quake seemed to “go on forever”.

She said it had a much longer, more rolling motion than a 2010 Canterbury quake she experienced.

Davis said she was surprised there appeared to be no damage to the house.

“It really shook for a long time.”

M7.4 #earthquake strikes 208 km SW of #Wellington (New Zealand) 16 min ago. Effects reported by witnesses:
The quake hit 57 miles north east of the city, which is on the east coast of the country’s South Island

Others took to social media to show pictures and videos of their devastated homes.

Alysa Jane tweeted: “6.something magnitude earthquake did it’s damage I’m on the 7th floor! I’m rekt!”

Kavithya wrote: “That was a huge earthquake. Got evacuated out of our apartment building. Hope everyone affected by it are safe!”

Cynthia Drescher, from Christchurch, said the earthquake lasted for three to four minutes.

She said she was evacuated to a building rebuilt after it was destroyed in the 2011 quake.

Cynthia described aftershocks she felt as “freaky”.

Well-wishers from around the world sent their best wishes to the stricken country which has been devastated by earthquakes over the years.

Arnoud Beckers, from Holland, wrote: “Hope everybody is safe in the beautiful city of Christchurch. Again hit by a huge quake.”

Islanders could face aftershocks which often follow the main quake.

They can cause further building damage and falling debris.

A Christchurch Police spokeswoman told Stuff.co.NZ they hadn’t received any calls about damage.

“Just be careful on the roads in case there’s damage,” she said.

St John Ambulance says they have no reports of injuries from the quake.

“We are monitoring the situation but at this stage we have not activated our emergency operations centre (EOC)”, they said.

“We encourage everyone to check on their neighbours, family and friends, especially those who live alone or are frail.”

“It is also important to have your emergency kit, torch and other emergency supplies ready.”

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