SÍDNEY.-Un terremoto de magnitud 7,3 golpeó la madrugada del viernes las aguas al noreste de Nueva Zelanda, lo que produjo una alerta de tsunami, sin que inicialmente se hayan registrado daños materiales o víctimas.
El Servicio Geológico de Estados Unidos (USGS), que vigila la actividad sísmica en todo el mundo, situó el hipocentro del seísmo a 10 kilómetros de profundidad bajo el lecho marino.
El mismo organismo localizó la sacudida a 178 kilómetros al noreste de Gisborn y 228 al este de Whakatane, ambas ciudades en la Isla Norte del país.
El Centro de Alertas por Tsunami del Pacífico emitió una alerta de tsunami con olas de hasta un metro para Nueva Zelanda y, en menor medida, para otros países del Pacífico como Islas Cook, Fiyi, Nueva Caledonia, Tonga y Vanuatu. EFE
New Zealand: Tsunami warning lifted after powerful quake
Residents near the epicenter were asked to keep away from the coast after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off New Zealand’s North Island.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck off the northeastern coast of New Zealand early on Friday, the United States Geological Survey said, triggering tsunami warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC).
The center later withdrew the tsunami warning, saying the threat had passed, but urged residents to stay alert.
“There is no longer a tsunami threat from this earthquake,” PTWC said in a statement.
There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.
The US Geological Survey put the quake’s depth at 20 kilometers (13 miles), about 174 kilometers (108 miles) northeast of the city of Gisborne. Aftershocks were still being felt in the area.
‘A long or strong quake’
Earlier, New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had tweeted: “We are assessing whether the earthquake has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand. We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed.”
“Anyone near the coast who felt a LONG or STRONG quake should MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as you can,” NEMA added.
“The first waves may have reached NZ in the areas around East Cape at approximately 3:34am. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is canceled.”
In 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, killing 185 people and destroying much of the city’s downtown.
Just two weeks ago, New Zealand marked the 10th anniversary of the disaster, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leading a tribute to honor the 185 victims. (Reuters, dpa, AP)