A major earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.8 hit near Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand at 11:02 UTC on November 13, 2016.
The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). New Zealand’s GEONET is reporting M7.5 at a depth of 16 km (9.9 miles). A tsunami warning has been issued. “People near the eastern coast of the South Island should immediately move to high ground or inland as far as possible,” New Zealand’s MCDEM said.
TSUNAMI WARNING: “A DRAWDOWN OF 2.5 METERS WAS OBSERVED AT KAIKOURA TIDE STATION” (PTWC)
According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 53.8 km (33.5 miles) NE of Amberley (population 1 105), 77.6 km (48.2 miles) NNE of Kaiapoi (population 10 200), and 93 km (57.8 miles) NE of Christchurch (population 363 926), New Zealand.
There are 400 214 people living within 100 km (62 miles). About 10 000 people are living within 50 km (31 miles).
EMSC estimated there are 3.2 million people in the felt area.
Our reader from Christchurch, New Zealand said: “Slow, and long, like the rolling sea. We still have power in northeast Christchurch.” She added: “We’ve had a few long rolling aftershocks. It was a 6.6 at Hanmer Springs. There have been a number of shocks set off elsewhere. Likely as a result of the Hanmer quake.”
Another one, from Waikato (594 km / 369 miles from the epicenter) said: “Yip felt it in the Waikato area wtf we never feel earthquakes up here.”
Hamilton (564 km / 351 miles) from the epicenter: “First time I’ve felt one in Hamilton, pretty scary.”
GEONET received more than 15 000 felt reports. “This quake was widely felt throughout New Zealand,” the agency said.
“There have already been many aftershocks recorded, the largest has a magnitude of 6.2,” it added.Power outage and damage reports are coming in.
Power outage and damage reports are coming in.