Wednesday, July 15, 2009

7.8 quake strikes off NZ; small tsunami generated

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off New Zealand's western coast Wednesday generating a small tsunami. No injuries or major damage were reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned that a tsunami was generated, but it later said the waves were less than 8 inches (20 centimeters) in height and the warning was canceled after about an hour.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre also issued a tsunami alert for eastern Australia that was still in effect late Wednesday.

"All available New Zealand and international data about the earthquake and sea levels showed that there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand," said John Hamilton, director of the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management.

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