New Zealand issued an official tsunami warning on Saturday following an earthquake off Papua New Guinea initially measured with a magnitude of 8.0 by the United States Geological Survey.
We’re continuing to assess the situation …at this stage we are advising New Zealanders to stay off the beaches, stay out of the water, not to go sight-seeing and to listen to the radio and TV,” a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management said.
“At this stage the warning’s been issued from the whole of NZ,” she said.
Earlier, a very strong earthquake struck the coast of Papua New Guinea, and a tsunami threat had been issued to areas near the epicentre.
The US Geological Survey says the magnitude-7.9 quake struck 60 kilometres east of Taron in Papua New Guinea on Saturday. The quake was deep, at 103 kilometres. Deeper earthquakes tend to cause less damage than shallow ones.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was a threat of a tsunami in Papua New Guinea and nearby areas.
Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.