TIME New Zealand

A Second Powerful Earthquake Has Hit New Zealand’s South Island

Second quake comes after multiple powerful aftershocks

A new, powerful tremor has taken place in New Zealand just hours after a massive earthquake hit the same area, at one point triggering tsunami warnings in parts of the country.

The BBC reports that the second quake happened northeast of Christchurch, on the South Island, at a depth of 10 kilometers. The tremor came at around 1:45 p.m. local time Monday, following an earlier, stronger quake at shortly after midnight, which hit at the same depth. There have been multiple strong aftershocks following the midnight quake, according to the report.

Some small towns on the South Island, including Kaikoura, were left isolated by damages caused by the first quake, reports the New Zealand Herald. That magnitude-7.5 earthquake had seen roads to Kaikoura blocked and electricity supply in the area disrupted, according to the Herald, and mobile network congestion has made substantiating the exact extent of damage more difficult.

The BBC reports that there had been airlifts rescuing people from the area. At Monday afternoon local time, Radio New Zealand reported that a local dam had been breached.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense announced Monday that a search and rescue team had been dispatched to Kaikoura, with more rescuers on standby. It also warned that there could be even more “significant” aftershocks in the days ahead.

Apart from wreaking havoc on the South Island, the first tremor had also damaged roads and buildings in the heart of the country’s capital Wellington, on the southern tip of the North Island. People were advised to avoid going into central Wellington Monday, reports the Herald.

New Zealand’s prime minister John Key reminded people to “keep following safety advice,” the Herald reported, adding that significant repairs following these quakes were anticipated.

The singer Lorde, who comes from New Zealand, expressed solidarity with her home country in a tweet. “We are made of tough stuff,” she wrote.

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