Waves of up to three meters: the threat of a tsunami was real in several Pacific territories, on Friday, March 5, after the magnitude 8.1 earthquake which occurred near the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), located in Hawaii, warned that three-meter-high waves could reach Vanuatu and the French territory of New Caledonia. This organization added that smaller waves are likely to reach countries as far from the epicenter of the earthquake as Japan, Russia and Mexico, as well as the coasts of South America. “Tsunami waves have been observed,” the PTWC added, explaining that small waves had already been measured near Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa.
Evacuated Beaches in New Caledonia
The New Zealand emergency services have also ordered the evacuation of coastal areas in long stretches of northern New Zealand (the North Island), after this earthquake that apparently did not no victims and that it happened a thousand kilometers away, near uninhabited islands, according to the USGS observatory. The earthquake, which struck at 8:28 a.m. local time (8:28 p.m. in Paris on Thursday), was preceded by tremors of 7.4 and 6.9 in the same region.
“People (who are) near the coast in the following areas should immediately move to the nearest heights, outside of all evacuation areas, or as far inland as possible,” ordered the National Emergency Management Agency.
In New Caledonia, a tsunami warning was also issued. “A wave of one to three meters will hit all of New Caledonia. People must get off the beaches and stop all nautical activities., children should not be picked up from school so as not to create congestion, “Alexandre Rossignol, spokesman for civil security, told NC 1st radio, noting a” real threat “because the wave, expected around 10 am (midnight in Paris ), it could “penetrate the earth”.