7 Jul 2011

Tsunami warning cancelled

9:25 am on 7 July 2011

Civil Defence has officially cancelled its warning about a tsunami, stemming from an earthquake in the Kermadec Islands.

Civil Defence says its advice from GNS Science is that the tsunami does not represent a threat to New Zealand.

But GNS is advising of unusually strong tidal surges and currents.

For the next 24 hours, Civil Defence says people should exercise caution before entering the water, or venturing out in small boats anywhere in New Zealand.

Earlier, the National Crisis Management Centre was activated and Civil Defence said the first wave to arrive would reach New Zealand at 8.52am on Thursday.

A wave of between 60cm - and 1 metre was detected at Raoul Island.

Civil Defence said it was not expecting a wall of water but is concerned about strong currents in coastal areas.

East Cape was expected to be the first place to see the wave at about 8.52am, North Cape at 8.54am and Gisborne at 8.59am. It will arrive in Auckland at about 10am.

The first wave may not be the largest. Waves will continue for several hours.

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred near the Karmadec islands at 7.03am (NZ time) on Thursday at a depth of 20km. It was centred 160km east of Raoul Island.