Just after midnight in New Zealand’s, a strong earthquake measuring 7.9 hit the South Island. The powerful quake, which struck about 50 miles north of the town of Christchurch, triggered at least three aftershocks and three tsunami waves, causing sea levels to rise almost six feet.
There have only been two casualties reported in the areas nearest to the epicenter of the quake, but emergency officials in the town of Christchurch reported that there is considerable damage to the area and that they have received numerous emergency calls. New Zealand’s civil defense and emergency management put out a warning to citizens near the coast that they should evacuate to higher ground in case of further tsunamis, according to The New York Times.
It is incredible that there have been so few reported casualties, considering that a less powerful earthquake that struck Christchurch in 2011 completely destroyed the town and resulted in 185 casualties. The recent earthquake produced 40 to 50 times more energy than the previous quake, making it a miracle that the current damage is far less devastating.