Local News

Massive earthquake hits central New Zealand, 2 dead

What you need to know about roads, schools and damage.
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A severe earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude has hit near Hanmer Springs in North Canterbury at 12.02am and there have been more than 100 aftershocks since.

The first quake was felt as far away as Auckland, and has caused power outages and significant damage.

Two people are confirmed to have died – one reportedly from a heart attack, another was reportedly killed in a historic homestead in Kaikoura, where Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says there have been numerous casualties.

Schools

Schools from Wellington to Nroth Canterbury will remains closed until damage can be assessed. Many students were due to sit NCEA exams today.

For students who are unable to sit the exams, they will awarded a derived grade, based on their practice exam, according to NCEA.

Massey University has postponed exams on both their Wellington and Palmerston North campuses.

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Trains and ferries cancelled

People working in the Wellington CBD are being advided not to travel into the city unless necessary, with train lines closed.

KiwiRail says all trains on the North Island trunk line south of Palmerston North, and in the South Island have been cancelled.

Ferry sailings have also been cancelled until the terminals in Wellington and Picton can be assessed.

Roads closed

Some State Highways in the top half of the South Island are closed due to damage.

State Highway 1 is closed between Picton and Blenheim, and between Blenheim and Kaikoura.

State Highway 7 from Waipara to Springs Junction in Canterbury is also closed.

Tsunami warning

A Tsunami warning was issued for the entire east coast of New Zealand, but that has now been downgraded to a beach and marine threat.

The areas effected are: the East Coast of New Zealand, from East Cape to Southland, and also the Kapiti Coast and Tasman Bay/Marlborough Sounds.

Waves of up to 2m have been reported in Kairkora.

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