Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | July 15, 2011

Tsunami Warning Canceled In New Zealand After 7.8 Earthquake Hits

New Zealand civil defense cancels tsunami warning

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand civil defense authorities canceled a tsunami warning on Thursday but warned of possible stronger than normal ocean currents around the east coast of the country after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean north east of the country.

It said a tsunami was generated by the earthquake around the Kermadec Islands, around 1180 kilometers (737 miles) north east of New Zealand, but scientists has advised it was of no threat to New Zealand.

“However, they expect that there will be unusually strong tidal surges and currents,” the Civil Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The first surge had been expected at eastern coastal areas of the North Island just before 9 a.m. local time (5 p.m. EDT), but there were no reports of unusual activity.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 7:03 a.m. on Thursday (3:03 p.m. EDT on Wednesday) at the epicenter, 131 miles east of Raoul Island, part of the Kermadec archipelago, and was only 30 miles deep.

A small research team on Raoul Island, the main island in the group was reported safe and well.

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