A massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of New Zealand early Friday morning, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The quake reportedly hit at a depth of about 33 kilometres, south of the Kermadec Islands. The epicentre was determined to be south of the Kermadec Islands, which are home to many active volcanoes.
Soon after the earthquake occurred, the National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said early information indicated that "hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 km of the earthquake epicenter."
Doomsday Coming? Tsunami threat for New Zealand
The massive earthquake struck New Zealand when Doomsday theories have picked up pace as infamous Mayan calendar, which wrongly predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012, suggests that the world will end for good on June 21, 2020 -- the upcoming Sunday.
The massive earthquake and tsunami threat triggered panic among the citizens. However, New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) later said there was no current tsunami threat to residents.
"Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to New Zealand," the agency said.
Though several people were left annoyed that 50 minutes passed before they were officially told there was no tsunami threat.
Scientist says New Zealand "dodged a tsunami bullet" following a 7.4 quake that struck south of the Kermadec Islands
"Our shaking intensity scale gives the impact of an earthquake on people living on the earth's surface, instead of magnitude which is the energy released during an earthquake, and so it can be more useful as an indicator of the earthquake's significance to the community," explained GNS scientists Dr David Burbidge and Dr William Power.
Also, Dr Jose Borrero, of Raglan-based marine consultancy eCoast Ltd, said the quake was just on the small side and didn't have the right sense of motion to generate a tsunami – meaning the country had effectively dodged a bullet.
"This morning's quake was also a 'strike slip' quake - meaning the motion was side-to-side and not up and down, so the amount of seafloor displacement was small and so was the subsequent tsunami."
A tsunami from the Kermadecs Arc area above New Zealand – called a "regional" tsunami – could offer one to three hours' warning for evacuation.
NZ Civil Defence had reportedly asked coastal residents to move to higher ground as a precaution.
According to GeoNet, close to 9,000 people felt the earthquake with many feeling weak to moderate shaking.
Doomsday and Mayan calendar
Remember the Mayan calendar which predicted the end of the world in the year December 2012? Well, the latest reports suggest that the doomsday is near and the world will come to an end this year, on June 21 to be specific.
Scientist Paolo Tagaloguin explained in his now-deleted tweets how technically we are in living in the year 2012. The scientist wrote, "The number of days lost in a year due to the shift into Gregorian Calendar is 11 days… For 268 years using the Gregorian Calendar (1752-2020) times 11 days = 2,948 days. 2,948 days / 365 days (per year) = 8 years."
The Mayan calendar's prediction shocked everyone and now another conspiracy theory states that according to the Julian calendar we are in the year 2012 and not in 2020 which is why the previous theory went all wrong.