Main quakes – SEVERE:
- 7.5 magnitude, severe, 15km north east of Culverden, 12.20am
- 6.1 magnitude, severe: 15km north of Kaikoura, 2.31am, 27km
- 5.7 magnitude, severe: 25km south east of Seddon, 2.21am
- 5.5 magnitude, severe: 10km east of Seddon 2.20am
- 5.6 magnitude, severe: 20km south east of Seddon, 4.33am
3 am: St Johns are reporting casualties in Cheviot and Kaikoura
All emergency 111 lines were rendered inoperable tonight as a large earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand causing extensive damage. A tsunami warning has been issued for the whole east of New Zealand with a 2.5 metre drawdown at Kaikoura tide station.
Latest figures are that the quake has been revised to a 7.5, up from the earlier 6.6. There have been multiple aftershocks.
Geonet.org.nz stated on its website
“A severe earthquake has struck 20 kilometres south-east of Hanmer Springs at 12:02am, Monday 14th November.
Our early review indicates the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.6 and was 16 kilometres deep. The highest level of impact from our felt reports so far has been MMI8 (severe) this level of shaking includes people experiencing difficulty standing. Furniture and appliances shifting. Substantial damage to fragile or unsecured objects and a few weak buildings may be damaged. This level of shaking was reported via the GeoNet felt reports in the upper South Island and lower North Island.
The inital earthquake was felt widely throughout New Zealand. Currently, there are more than 15,000 Felt reports.There have already been many aftershocks recorded, the largest has a magnitude of 6.2.
MCDEM have issued a tsunami threat for the initial earthquake. Our tide gauge at Kaikoura has recorded this. Please follow advice regarding tsunami via the Civil Defence website
People are already evacuating from the small seaside township of Kaikoura where there have been reports of building collapses and a tsunami warning has been issued. Kaikoura was last shaken by a 6.3 quake on 24 April 2015 causing widespread alarm and panic. It is not known if today’s quake is related to last April’s event.
The severe earthquake, which is the highest grade of earthquake, is being called the Cheviot Earthquake. People have been advised to move to high ground immediately (1.32 am)
The first wave activity may not be the most significant. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled. MCDEM is still assessing the threat and will provide more information within the next hour. Meanwhile, people in coastal areas should: 1. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities) 2. Stay off beaches and shore areas 3. Do not go sightseeing 4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends 5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates 6. Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities. source Civil Defence
People are also using social media to exchange information including photographs of damage as far away as Wellington where radio New Zealand has reported thousands of people have been evacuated from the central city. New Zealand’s city has experienced a sea level drop and is bracing for tsunami waters: