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New Zealand: Defence Forces start major rescue operation following deadly earthquake01:34

New Zealand: Defence Forces start major rescue operation following deadly earthquake

New Zealand, Kaikoura
November 15, 2016 at 06:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

New Zealand's Defence Forces started a major rescue operation near the coastal town of Kaikoura, Tuesday, following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the island on Sunday, with a series of strong aftershocks in the area causing further damage.

The Defence Forces personnel were mobilised to ferry hundreds of stranded residents and tourists after the earthquake left the infrastructure decimated. According to a civil defence official, some 130 people have been evacuated at the time of writing.

The first tremors, which were registered just after midnight local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday, left two dead. A tsunami alert was announced for Wellington and surrounding areas, but has since been removed. Authorities have warned residents to evacuate coastal areas and head inland, or onto higher ground, with a "marine and beach Cthreat" alert remaining in place.

The first earthquake was felt in the South and North Islands, with strong aftershocks continuing to hit the island while destroying a number of structures and causing power cuts.

The origin of the first quake was registered by the US Geological Survey some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island. The city is still recovering from a deadly earthquake in 2011, which destroyed the city centre and killed 185 people.

New Zealand: Defence Forces start major rescue operation following deadly earthquake01:34
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New Zealand's Defence Forces started a major rescue operation near the coastal town of Kaikoura, Tuesday, following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the island on Sunday, with a series of strong aftershocks in the area causing further damage.

The Defence Forces personnel were mobilised to ferry hundreds of stranded residents and tourists after the earthquake left the infrastructure decimated. According to a civil defence official, some 130 people have been evacuated at the time of writing.

The first tremors, which were registered just after midnight local time (11:00 GMT) on Sunday, left two dead. A tsunami alert was announced for Wellington and surrounding areas, but has since been removed. Authorities have warned residents to evacuate coastal areas and head inland, or onto higher ground, with a "marine and beach Cthreat" alert remaining in place.

The first earthquake was felt in the South and North Islands, with strong aftershocks continuing to hit the island while destroying a number of structures and causing power cuts.

The origin of the first quake was registered by the US Geological Survey some 95km (59 miles) from Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island. The city is still recovering from a deadly earthquake in 2011, which destroyed the city centre and killed 185 people.

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