Earthquake Strikes New Zealand, Thousands Fleeing As Tsunami Approaches

Overnight in New Zealand, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the island nation. The quake caused widespread damage, and a tsunami has been formed and is heading towards the coast, leading residents to seek higher ground.

So far, there are no reports of deaths, but there are many injuries, according to Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

Information on the quake so far is as follows:

* USGS says quake magnitude revised to 7.8

* Authorities issue tsunami alert, say waves could be 5 metres

* Thousands flee homes to seek higher ground

* Reports emerging of injuries, so far no reports of deaths

* In 2011, a 6.3 quake killed 185 people in Christchurch (Adds authorities warning first tsunami waves may not be biggest)

CNN International has more details:

The quake struck around 50 kilometers (around 30 miles) northeast of the city of Christchurch just after midnight local time on Monday, the US Geological Survey reported, and triggered waves of 2.49 meters above usual tide levels, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

But New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense warned that the worst may be yet to come. The agency said on Twitter that the country’s entire east coast was at threat and could expect waves of between three and five meters.

“Move inland or to higher ground immediately,” the warning said.

Initial waves may not be the largest and they could continue for several hours, the Civil Defense posted, as tsunami-warning sirens wailed across the island.

The earthquake and tsunami will affect the nation of more than 4 million people heavily. More ..

Compilation 7.5 M earthquake New Zealand Christchurch NOV. 13, 2016

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The store is left covered in pools of red wine and shattered glass after the mighty quake reached the South Island city of Nelson

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