Time: 5:23 p.m. CEST Update: 9:30 p.m. CEST
Two people died after strong earthquake hit New Zealand’s South Islands on Sunday, the Prime minister John Key confirmed, but said further details are not yet known.
A tsunami followed after an earthquake hit New Zealand’s South Island on Sunday. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake is of magnitude 7.8 and that the shakes happened after midnight on Sunday.
The epicenter of the earthquake was at some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch. Two hours after the initial earthquake, the tsunami arrived in the northeastern coast, where residents moved toward the inland. BBC.com reports that, “at Kaikoura, 181 km (112) miles north of Christchurch, measured a wave of 2.5m (8ft 2ins) according to Weatherwatch.co.nz.
New Zealand ministry of civil defense said the highest waves, which could be as tall as 5 m are expected between Malborough, to the northeastern tip of the South Island, and Banks Peninsula, just south of Christchurch. Radio New Zealand reports thousands of people already evacuated their homes.