News Release

Series of Earthquakes Strike New Zealand’s Northeast Coast

Tsunami alerts issued but all missionaries and church facilities are all safe

On Friday 5 March, a series of three large earthquakes were recorded offshore northeast of New Zealand. The epicenters of the quakes were near the Kermadec Islands, located about 900 kilometers northeast of New Zealand. The initial quake occurred at 2:27 am followed by several other quakes throughout the morning. Initial quakes caused the issuance of a tsunami alert early this morning in the northeast with the strongest at magnitude 8.1.

Since then other alerts were issued for the evacuation of north, east and west coastal areas of the North Island. 

Tsunami alerts issued in New Zealand today after strong earthquakes offshore. March 2021.© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

All missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in those areas are being asked to follow the instructions of local civil defense authorities and to go to higher ground. All mission presidents report that their missionaries are safe. 

Missionaries in Opotiki and Whakatane are among many who have evacuated. President Jeffrey Erekson reports that missionaries are “in their respective evacuation points and helping others.”

The earthquakes triggered tsunami alerts in many parts of the Pacific including American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Hawaii.

Emergency Alert issued in Auckland on 5 March. New Zealand, March 2021© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

All New Zealand alerts were cancelled at about 130 pm local time and people were allowed to return home. Many of the other Pacific alerts have been cancelled as well.

There are no reports of damage to Church owned buildings. 

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