Risk of tsunami being assessed following powerful earthquake near New Zealand

No tsunami risk for BC

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

The B.C. coast and Vancouver Island are not at risk of a tsunami from a massive earthquake off the coast of New Zealand.

EmergencyInfoBC made that determination at 2:30 this afternoon.

"After further evaluation, a tsunami is NOT expected for B.C. after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake (upgraded from 8.0) occurred in the Kermadec Islands region, north of New Zealand on March 4," the centre said on its website.

"The tsunami threat of this earthquake was under assessment earlier in the afternoon."

The earthquake struck the area near New Zealand about 11:30 p.m. PST Wednesday night. The magnitude 8.1 quake was the third to hit the region over a short period of time. It followed large quakes measured at 7.4 and 7.2.

Tsunami warnings were issued for many Pacific Islands, including Hawaii.

ORIGINAL: 12:25 p.m.

A potential risk to the west coast of North America, including B.C. is being assessed following a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake near New Zealand.

The quake hit the Kermadec Islands region, north of New Zealand about 11:30 p.m. PST last night.

According to EmergencyInfoBC, an assessment for a possible tsunami is underway.

The provincial agency expects more details shortly.

On it's website, EmergencyInfoBC states:

  • Earthquakes of this size are known to generate tsunamis potentially dangerous to coasts outside the source region.
  • The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center is analyzing the event to determine the level of danger.
  • More information will be issued as it becomes available.
  • This earthquake has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami in the source region.

More BC News