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Sea surge warning for Sounds

Authorities are warning of unusual sea currents and unpredictable surges of up to 1 meter as the tsunami threat level to the region is confirmed.

Civil Defence has confirmed the 'green' threat level, affecting beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities. This follows an urgent assessment earlier this morning.

The warning comes in the wake of a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake near the Kermadec Islands, north of New Zealand.

The Top of the South from Farewell Spit to Port Underwood including Picton and the Marlborough Sounds are included in the national tsunami alert

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People

should stay away from beaches and not launch a boat today.

Harbourmaster Luke Grogan advises ships at sea to remain in deeper water until further notice.

Activity in and around coastal areas including ports and harbours should be avoided.

The first waves were expected to reach New Zealand in the areas around Lottin Point at approximately 9:49am.

Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until the Civil Defence warning is cancelled.

People in all New Zealand coastal areas should:

Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates, or check www.civildefence.govt.nz

Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area

Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, this includes boats)

Stay off beaches and shore areas

Do not go sightseeing

Share this information with family, neighbours and friends

Evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area. If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so.