04 May, 2006

New Zealand: Final Tsuanmi Situational Report Issued

The National Management Crisis Center in New Zeland have issued their last Sit Rep on the tsunami alert earlier this morning, firstly there were no reports of damage in Tokelau, Rarotonga and Solomons. In Tonga, the electricity out for approx. 2 hours and was then restored while there was some damage to the waterfront in Niue, nothing major according to a police report.

A summary of tsunami alert and quake event:

* An earthquake initially thought to measure 8.1 was recorded at 15.26GMT (3.26 am NZ time) about 170km NE of Nuku’alofa. The epicentre was 155km south of Neiafu and 16km below the surface. At 15.42GMT the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) based in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning for Fiji and New Zealand, and an advisory for all other areas. It stated that an earthquake of the size recorded could potentially generate a destructive tsunami, and provided a series of possible tsunami arrival times. In a subsequent bulletin, the warning was refined to include Tonga, Niue, American-Samoa, Samoa and Wallis-Futuna as a precautionary measure, and exclude New Zealand.

* At 5.40 am, the magnitude of the earthquake was reduced to 7.9 and the tsunami warning cancelled - although it was advised that some Pacific countries may experience small sea-level changes. Sea level readings indicate a small tsunami was generated (Pago Pago and Niue less than 0.5m). However, no major waves were observed for two hours after the estimated time of arrival. Small after shocks have been felt in Tonga and Rarotonga.

* No tsunami has been reported in Pacific Island nations. No damage has been reported in New Zealand.

* The United Nations OCHA and other SAR teams continue to monitor the situation.
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