On Monday, a very powerful earthquake hit New Zealand. In its aftermath, landslides and a small tsunami wave took place. The quake shook the earth, destroying streets and buildings and leaving at least two people dead, according to reports. This is not the first time that New Zealand has been hit by a powerful earthquake. Just five years ago, another one, even more powerful hit the country. Fortunately, the one on Monday was not that destructive.
The earthquake had a 7.8 magnitude and started just after midnight. Its epicenter was a rural area full of small towns. Near that spot, the quake left big fissures in roads and triggered landslides. It was followed by some pretty strong aftershocks on Monday. People were extremely scared and many of them stood outside and searched for higher ground, in expectance of the tsunami. The quake lasted for about three minutes, according to locals.
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, was affected by the strong earthquake. Some said it resembled a ghost town by the time the earthquake was done and intervention teams went in. The strong wind which is expected these days will most probably cause more damage. The south of the country was also affected, especially Christchurch city. This city is the one which was almost destroyed by the earthquake in 2011. Back then, 185 people lost their lives.
Two lives lost
Authorities are saying that one person died in Kaikoura, a small coastal city. Another person died in Mt. Lyford, somewhere near a ski resort. But there are many other people who were injured during the earthquake. Fortunately, none of them too severely.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that what he has seen from a helicopter resembles devastation. He wanted to take a look at what the earthquake has done to the affected areas, and he was shocked to see cars turned upside down and destroyed roads. Reportedly, authorities are going to bring water, food and supplies to the people still captive in those areas, on Tuesday.
A devastating cost
Prime Minister John Key also said that, according to what he has seen from above, the damages might cost the country a few billion dollars. Which is a huge amount of money. He also said that for now, only two lives were lost. He hopes that the number will not rise, but anything is possible. According to the police, helicopters are being sent in various areas were casualties are still being reported. Search and rescue teams are still searching through the rubble for any people who might be stuck in there. Also, many houses and roadblocks have collapsed, making it harder for the rescue teams to intervene.
Power lines and telecommunications are still down in the affected regions. And people in the coastal regions are warned to stay on higher ground because more waves are expected to hit. Even if they will be smaller, there is still risk involved, as the infrastructure is weakened. Also, people are encouraged to keep safe and to be alert for anything.
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