Representational Image
Representational Image

A powerful undersea earthquake struck north of New Zealand late on Wednesday night, prompting tsunami warnings. The US Geological Agency said the magnitude 7.7 quake was centered at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles) southeast of the Loyalty Islands. The shaking was not expected to cause significant damage or fatalities on land.

The quake struck at just after midnight on Thursday local time (1320 GMT Wednesday) about 415 kilometres (258 miles) east of Vao in New Caledonia at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the USGS.

"Tsunami confirmed. Observation - Norfolk Is at 2:15am AEDT. MARINE THREAT warning for LORD Howe Island. Issued by JATWC 3:01 AM AEDT Thu 11 Feb 2021. Tsunami affecting marine area commencing after 2:45 am AEDT Thu, persisting for several hours," Australia's Bureau of Meteorology had tweeted on Wednesday night.

Since then, the situation has improved somewhat. In later updates the Meteorology department said that the main had passed some of the locations put on alert. An update in the early hours of Thursday the Tsunami Marine Warning issued for Lord Howe Island was cancelled. "There is no Tsunami threat to Australia" explains the most recent update.

New Zealand too has now cancelled the warning issued, even as it urged people to remain on alert.

"The National Advisory issued following the 7.7 earthquake near Southeast of Loyalty Islands at 2021-02-11 2:20 AM New Zealand Daylight Time is cancelled," read an early morning update from the National Emergency Management Agency.

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