A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off New Zealand’s coast last night, prompting a tsunami warning for parts of Australia’s east coast.The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a low-level tsunami was generated near the quake’s epicentre, but sea levels were only about 20cm above normal.The epicentre of the earthquake was about 160km west of the city of Invercargill at a depth of 33km, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Tsunami alert prompts hundreds of calls Were you been affected? Send your photographs and comments to [email protected]苏州美甲培训学校.au Advice from the SES during tsunami alertThe earthquake struck at 7.22pm and was felt widely across the South Island, and there had been reports of minor cracks in buildings and stock falling from supermarket shelves.There were no reports of serious damage or injuries.The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a tsunami warning for NSW, Tasmania and Victoria following the quake.Coastguards, police and fire services were all put on red alert as the danger to low-lying and coastal areas was assessed.However, warnings were later scaled back to the lesser “marine” version, with people being urged to stay out of the water and away from low-lying areas until this morning.The BOM warned tsunami effects were expected at Port Kembla, Batemans Bay and Eden after 9.45pm, Sydney after 10pm and Newcastle after 10.15pm.Major evacuations in these areas were not required, however people were advised to get out of the water and move away from the immediate water’s edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms and beaches.An aftershock struck roughly 20 minutes after the initial quake, seismologists said.The USGS reported a magnitude of 5.8 for the aftershock, while New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) put it at 6.1.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a low-level tsunami was generated near the epicentre, but later cancelled its warning, saying the waves no longer posed a threat to New Zealand. One South Island resident, Simon Darby, told New Zealand’s Herald newspaper the quake lasted about two-and-a-half minutes.”I lived in Tokyo for three years so I know what large quakes are like. Even though we are maybe 400km from the epicentre this was easily the longest and biggest I have ever felt,” he said.The BOM urged anyone in low-lying areas to move to higher ground.It also urged people to get out of the water and move away from the coast.”People in areas with threat to land inundation and flooding are strongly advised by emergency authorities to go to higher ground or at least one kilometre inland,” a BOM statement said.”In areas with a threat to the marine environment only, emergency authorities advise people to get out of the water and move away from the immediate water’s edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms and beaches.”Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first wave not necessarily being the largest.”
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