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Current Affairs

Tsunami warning in New Zealand

Date: 05 March 2021 Tags: Geography & Environment

Issue

A tsunami warning was issued after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck east of New Zealand's north island.

 

Background

New Zealand is situated along the ill-famed “ring of fire”, the area most vulnerable to tectonic activities.

 

Details

  • The magnitude 7.7 quake was registered at a depth of 10 kilometres south-east of the Loyalty Islands.

  • No major damage was reported, but the US Tsunami Warning Centre has issued warnings of potential tsunami waves.

 

Earthquakes

  • An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that gives rise to seismic waves. 

  • Earthquakes are caused mostly by breaking of geological faults but can also be caused by events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.

  • An earthquake's point of initial break is called its hypocenter or focus. The epicentre is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

 

Tsunamis

  • A tsunami is a series of waves in a water body caused due to the displacement of a large volume of water. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions generally cause the displacement.

  • Tsunamis generally consist of a series of waves known as "wave train". It consists of periods ranging from minutes to hours.

  • The effect of tsunamis is limited to coastal regions. The destruction can be enormous and can affect entire ocean basins. 

  • Tsunamis have a small wave height offshore. They typically pass unnoticed at sea. They increase in height when they reach shallower water.