On 4 March, a series of earthquakes struck New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands: a 7.2-magnitude quake, a 7.4-magniture quake and then an 8.1-magnitude earthquake all struck off the coast within six hours of one another.
The largest, which occurred around 100 kilometres east of Te Araroa, prompted a tsunami watch as far as Hawaii, as well as other Pacific islands such as Tonga, American Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu.
In New Zealand, the National Emergency Management Agency issued a tsunami warning, urging all people from affected areas to evacuate to higher ground and not to return until an all-clear was given by Civil Defence.
“TSUNAMI WARNING issued following Kermadecs earthquake. People near coast from the BAY OF ISLANDS to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY, and GREAT BARRIER ISLAND must MOVE IMMEDIATELY to nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible,” the National Emergency Management Agency said on its Twitter account.
On 5 March, the tsunami threat was downgraded by local authorities and people were told they could return home. There have been no reports of damages or casualties from the earthquakes.
In January 2021, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi Indonesia, killing at least 34 people and injuring hundreds more.