Tsunami warning for NZ coastal areas after 7.7 earthquake near New Caledonia

New Zealand authorities have issued a tsunami advisory after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake southeast of Loyalty Islands, near New Caledonia.

Civil Defence says it expects New Zealand coastal areas to experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore.

People in or near the sea in the following areas should move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas, and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries.

They are the northern tip of the country from Ahipara on the west coast around to the Bay of Islands on the east; Great Barrier Island, and from Matata to Tolaga Bay.

There is no need to evacuate other areas,unless directly advised by local Civil Defence authorities.

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Flooding of land areas near the shore is not expected as a result of this event.
Civil Defence is advising people to listen to local civil defence authorities and follow any instructions.

It says the threat must be regarded as real until this advisory is cancelled.

The US Tsunami Warning System says there’s also a potential for tsunami waves of 0.3 to one metre above the tide level, for other regions including Vanuatu and Fiji.

The quake struck about 2.20 this morning New Zealand time, with an epicentre 401kmeast of Tadine in New Caledonia.

It was at a depth of 33km.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre says there’s no tsunami threat to the Australian mainland, islands or territories.

The full advisory

National Advisory: Tsunami activity – expect strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore

• We expect New Zealand coastal areas to experience strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges at the shore following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake southeast of Loyalty Islands at 2.20am.

• Strong currents and surges can injure and drown people. There is a danger to swimmers, surfers, people fishing, small boats and anyone in or near the water close to shore.

• People in or near the sea in the following areas should move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries.

AREAS UNDER THREAT:
From AHIPARA to BAY OF ISLANDS,
GREAT BARRIER ISLAND and
from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY.

ADVICE FOR PEOPLE IN AREAS UNDER THREAT

STAY OFF THE BEACHES AND SHORE AREAS

• There is no need to evacuate other areas unless directly advised by local civil defence authorities. Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas near the shore) is not expected as a result of this event. We are advising people to:

• Move out of the water, off beaches and shore areas and away from harbours, rivers and estuaries.
• Do not go to the coast to watch the unusual wave activity as there may be dangerous and unpredictable surges.

• Listen to local civil defence authorities and follow any instructions.
Share this information with family, neighbours and friends.

• The first tsunami activity causing these strong currents and surges may reach New
Zealand in the areas around North Cape at approximately 04:20am New Zealand Daylight Time. This may be later and the first tsunami activity may not be the most significant.

• Strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this Advisory is cancelled.

• This National Advisory has been issued following an assessment of information available. The situation may change as new information becomes available.

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