New Zealand Earthquake Rattles Nation as Harry and Meghan Make Royal Visit
On Tuesday, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook many parts of central New Zealand, around the areas where British royals Meghan and Harry are on tour. According to officials, no major damage was caused during or after the quake.
During a session of the parliament, lawmakers had to stop deliberations and seek immediate refuge as a security precaution when the Earthquake was felt.
There was no tsunami threat and the quake was not strongly felt in Auckland, where the touring royals continued with a public walkabout on the city´s waterfront.
However, according to the reporters who were traveling alongside the royal couple, said they did not feel any quake tremors during the time. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake had a magnitude of 6.1.
New Zealand´s official GeoNet seismic monitoring service revealed that the 6.2 Earthquake shook at a depth of 207 kilometres (128 miles) in the central North Island which is about 340 kilometres northeast of Wellington.
The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, also stated that the quake was widely felt across the center of the nation. He also urged Kiwis to “check on those around you”.
Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Minister, Kris Faafoi revealed that there was no reports of injuries or damage, after an investigation.
“I think some people might be a little nervy and that´s understandable but it’s just a case of following those safety messages and being prepared,” he said.
“I think if there was anything major we´d know by now,” he added.
Faafoi also stated that the proceedings in parliament house were temporarily suspended because of the building shaking heavily.
“We all felt it in the house, I was in there at the time… and just for the immediate safety of those in the house (the speaker) saw fit to suspend proceedings,” he said.
“I think that was the wise thing to do as we felt it quite heavily,” he further added.
New Zealand, which lies on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, forms a part of the well-known “Ring of Fire”, and can bring up to 15,000 tremors a year.
In 2011, a shallow Earthquake of 6.3 magnitude in the South Island city of Christchurch killed 185 people and injured others. Another 7.8 shake in 2016 took place a little further north and was recorded as the second strongest quake ever recorded in the history of the country.