New Zealand quakes kill two, trigger tsunami

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key confirmed that at least two people were killed.

In Wellington, where frequent aftershocks continued to be felt hours after the first quake, residents heading for higher ground caused gridlock on the roads to Mount Victoria, a hill with a lookout over the low-lying coastal city.

Monday's quake brought back memories of the magnitude 6.3 natural disaster that struck Christchurch in 2011 and destroyed much of the downtown area. It later revised the quake strength to 7.8, but changed its depth to 23 (14.2 miles) kilometers, giving more of a buffer between the epicenter and the Earth's surface.

In Christchurch, memories of a devastating 6.3-magnitude quake in 2011 are still fresh for many. Residents said the shaking went on for about three minutes.

Key is taking a helicopter to the small South Island coastal town of Kaikoura.

Cars in Kaikoura could be seen lying on their sides and parts of the road were clearly impassable. "That's months of work", Mr Key told acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee as they hovered above.

"Please heed the warnings, don't go back to your homes until we've cancelled the advisory or given further information", Sarah Stuart-Black, national controller of civil defense, told Radio New Zealand.

New Zealand lies in the seismically active "Ring of Fire", a 40,000 km arc of volcanoes and oceanic trenches that partly encircles the Pacific Ocean.

"We were at the 7th floor of the hotel, as soon tremors were felt we took the emergency staircase to evacuate from the hotel", said one team member who wished not to be named. While the initial earthquakes happened just after midnight, New Zealand time, the newest one occurred after daybreak.

"Further waves should be expected and may be larger or more unsafe", it said. There were some others who were busy posting pictures to Facebook or mailing them to news outlets.

There was confusion about the tsunami threat throughout the morning.

Bari said that the Pakistani players were looking forward to the challenge of continuing their good test form in New Zealand and Australia as well.

Gin, a 24-year-old, lifelong Christchurch resident, is accustomed to quakes, so she said she sat calmly and waited, figuring the rumbling would stop in a few seconds.

The truck loading ramp at the Interisland Ferry wharf has dropped, Wellington after a 7.5 quake based around Cheviot in the South island shock the capital, New Zealand, Monday, November 14, 2016.

As dawn broke on Monday, emergency response teams flew helicopters to the areas thought to be worst-affected by the quake, which had its epicentre about 57 miles northeast of Christchurch in the country's South Island.

It warned people to expect aftershocks and a host above magnitude 5 were recorded with the biggest a 6.2 shake situated 15km north of Kaikoura. That quake killed 185 people and injured thousands, and reduced swathes of the city's historic area to rubble.

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