Tsunami hits east New Zealand after powerful earthquake

 13 Nov 2016 - 16:51

Tsunami hits east New Zealand after powerful earthquake
Debris from fallen concrete off buildings are seen on a sidewalk past a cordon line in Wellington early on November 14, 2016 following an earthquake centred some 90 kilometres (57 miles) north of New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch. AFP / Marty Melville

By Recep Sakar / AA

MELBOURNE, Australia: A tsunami has hit the northeast coast of New Zealand’s South Island after a powerful earthquake shook several cities across the country, including the capital Wellington and as far north as Auckland.
New Zealand’s Civil Defence warned on its Twitter account that waves could continue for several hours. 
The United States Geological Survey reported that the magnitude 7.4 temblor struck around 93 kilometers (57.8 miles) northeast of Christchurch, the largest city in South Island, shortly after midnight Sunday. 
It occurred at a shallow depth of 10 km. 
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had not issued a tsunami warning.
The country’s Civil Defence advised residents of coastal South Island to move to higher ground and warned that a tsunami could also arrive in North Island.
The New Zealand Herald reported that sirens could be heard in Wellington, where residents were spotted crying on the streets.
Some houses in Cheviot were reportedly “badly affected” by the tremors. 
According to police, emergency lines that went out of operation after the earthquake were again cut off. 
New Zealand sits on the Ring of Fire, an area in the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.