An earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck near Christchurch, New Zealand, on 13 November 2016. Soon after, New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) issued a tsunami warning and land threat from East Cape to Southland, including Wellington, Marlborough Sounds/Tasman Bay and the Chatham Islands. The tsunami warning was downgraded on 14 November 2016 (at 1702 hrs, New Zealand time) to "marine and beach threat". Nevertheless, MCDEM has advised people near the eastern coast of the South Island to continue to stay away from the beaches as there are still strong currents and unpredictable water flows. There have also been a series of strong aftershocks, which has caused landslides, power shortages and cuts in water supply in some areas. The New Zealand Government has begun evacuating tourists out of Kaikoura via helicopters, and also despatched two navy vessels which are scheduled to arrive in Kaikoura on 16 November 2016.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Singapore High Commission in Wellington have contacted Singaporeans in the affected areas and ascertained that they are safe. So far, we have not received any reports of Singaporeans injured as a result of the earthquake. We continue to remain in contact with those who are in the affected areas. Please contact the High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand at +64-4-470-0850, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore at +65 6379 8800 if you require emergency assistance.

The New Zealand authorities have advised people to keep themselves informed of latest developments and to follow the advice of the local civil defence authorities. Information can be found through the local radio and TV stations, as well as on the MCDEM website (www.civildefence.govt.nz) and Twitter account (https://twitter.com/NZcivildefence). Singaporeans in New Zealand should heed the advice. Singaporeans who are planning to travel to New Zealand should continue to monitor the situation closely as aftershocks are common after a major earthquake. As the situation remains fluid, Singaporeans should bear in mind that their travel plans could be affected.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore