After the violent earthquake off New Zealand, the authorities downgraded the tsunami warning for large parts of the Pacific region.

The civil defense announced on Friday that the biggest waves were over and that all people previously brought to safety could return.

However, one should stay away from the beaches and the sea.

Three major earthquakes had previously been registered.

The strongest quake had a magnitude of 8.1 and occurred near the Kermadec Islands, about 800 kilometers northeast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Another 7.4 gauge in the same region followed shortly thereafter.

Hours earlier there were tremors of magnitude 7.1 around 100 kilometers off the coast of the Gisborne district.

The coastal residents of the affected areas had been asked to get to safety and to monitor the situation very closely.

The Civil Protection Agency appealed to residents of Northland, East Cape and Great Barrier Island to move to higher regions or as far into the hinterland as possible.

People near the coast come together in higher places

Source: AP / Mike Dinsdale


Thousands are on the run, reported the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

The paper quoted a local resident: “I look at the beautiful calm sea, and I hope that nothing will come from there.

We have to wait."

Initially no information about possible damage or injuries

The early warning system Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) had warned of a possible tsunami.

Experts expected waves one to three meters high.

The warning also applied to archipelagos such as the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

The Kermadec Islands, where the two heaviest quakes occurred, are part of New Zealand but are hundreds of kilometers from the coast.

Initially, there was no information about possible damage or injuries.

New Zealand has a total of just under five million people.

According to reports, the tremors of the first earthquake that night were felt across the region, including major cities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Almost two hours later, 60,000 people reported to the local GeoNet monitoring system that they had felt the quake, according to the New Zealand Herald.

"Hope everyone is okay out there," wrote Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Instagram, "especially those on the east coast who must have felt the full force of the earthquake."

Just last month, New Zealand thought of the victims of the Christchurch earthquake ten years ago.

On February 22, 2011, 185 people were killed in the largest city on the South Island.

The quake had a magnitude of 6.2.