On March 16th, 2023, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.1 magnitudes hit the Kermadec Islands in New Zealand, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers. The event was initially classified as a 7.4 magnitude earthquake but was later downgraded by the USGS.
The Kermadec Islands are located approximately 800-1000 kilometers northeast of New Zealand’s North Island, and the area has a history of earthquakes and volcanic activity. The quake was felt across the region, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) initially issued a warning of potential tsunamis, but this was later canceled after no significant waves were observed. The PTWC did advise that minor sea level fluctuations could still occur in some coastal areas.
New Zealand’s Civil Defence issued a statement following the quake, urging residents in coastal areas to stay alert and be prepared for potential aftershocks. They also advised people to listen to local radio stations for updates and to follow any instructions from emergency services.
Earthquakes are a common occurrence in New Zealand, with the country sitting on the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. In November 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Kaikoura, causing significant damage and several casualties.