Tsunami warning cancelled after Papua New Guinea quake

Author
Lesley Deverall,
Publish Date
Sun, 18 Dec 2016, 7:06AM
NZ Herald
NZ Herald

Tsunami warning cancelled after Papua New Guinea quake

Author
Lesley Deverall,
Publish Date
Sun, 18 Dec 2016, 7:06AM

A very large earthquake in Papua New Guinea had Civil Defence scrambling overnight, to decide if there was a tsunami threat.

The quake itself was just before midnight, with a magnitude of 7.9.

National Civil Defence Controller Sarah Stuart-Black said the protocol in situations like this it is to play it safe.

"We have an agreement with GNS science that based on the size of that earthquake and in that location that we would issue a national warning for a tsunami threat."

She said a nationwide coastal warning was issued, while the experts assessed the risk.

"And because it's Papua New Guinea, it's at least four hours away before any potential wave could affect New Zealand, so there's time for that assessment to be carried out."

Once it clear there was no risk, the warning was cancelled - at 1.20 this morning.