Tsunami Warning Lifted for New Zealand

SYDNEY — A tsunami warning for parts of New Zealand was lifted on Friday afternoon, hours after officials had told residents of coastal areas to evacuate in the wake of an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in the South Pacific.

A report of the New York Times says that the earthquake was recorded early Friday morning near the Kermadec Islands, which are between Tonga and New Zealand’s North Island, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center urged the public in the region to be vigilant and to closely monitor the situation, saying that “tsunami waves have been observed.”

At 1:15 p.m. local time, the National Emergency Management Agency in New Zealand told residents who had earlier evacuated that it was safe to return to their homes. It said that the “largest waves have now passed.”

Tsunami Warning Lifted for New Zealand
Tsunami Warning Lifted for New Zealand

Following evacuation orders and warnings to move away from the coast, thousands of New Zealanders fled to higher ground, walking, driving and riding bicycles.

Several towns near the country’s northern coast emptied out within a few hours of tsunami warnings via sirens or text messages from the government.

“This has been a dynamic event that is constantly evolving,” Emergency Management Minister Kiri Allan said at a news conference on Friday. “People have done the right things in the region by picking up, packing up and by and large staying calm.”

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