New Zealand’s False Alarm


James Lin

During this Thursday and Friday, New Zealand awoke to three consecutive earthquakes, only hours apart—one of which being the largest earthquake ever recorded along the Kermadec Fault. 


The tremors began on a peaceful Thursday evening, on March 4th. It is said that one of the quakes that occurred closer to New Zealand stirred several residents, including the Prime Minister himself.


Following the third earthquake, measuring out at a whopping 8.1 magnitude, citizens who resided near the coasts of New Zealand were told to take higher ground until further notice. Both Australia and New Zealand received tsunami warnings, expecting waves reaching up to 10 feet in height! Waves from the shock were also estimated to reach out to Mexico, Fiji, and Peru. 


However, after hours of examining the behavior of the water near the coasts, New Zealand has demoted its tsunami warning to a mere advisory, after the largest waves had passed by. Fortunately, there was little damage reported and no casualties.


As a result of the mass evacuation, many traffic jams have been reported along the streets as coastal citizens rushed to higher land. Luckily, authorities cleared the beaches safely and citizens were allowed to return to their homes after waves had been cleared.


Nonetheless, even though it was the result of a false alarm, the evacuation has been reported to be a success as the citizens along the coast have proved their ability to react quickly and keep their composure during a time of panic and distress.