Tsunami alert: Wave of interest

By Corey Charlton

The tsunami watch issued yesterday had little effect on Hawke's Bay residents, with some precautions taken by the port but most people still enjoying the evening beach weather.

New Zealand was put on tsunami watch yesterday after a 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit east of the Solomon Islands yesterday afternoon, with possible wave amplitudes of between 0.2m and 1m.

Napier Port closed for a short time while it was ascertained exactly what was happening, Hawke's Bay Regional Council harbourmaster captain Phil Norman said.

Extra moorings were out and tugs also kept on standby.

Later reports yesterday evening suggested it might not even be noticed in Hawke's Bay and most people spoken to along the coastline were not concerned about any possible wave threat.

Jaden Witika, found fishing at Perfume Point, said he and friend Jeremy Strampel had "a bit of a laugh" when they spotted a surge they thought may have been it.

"It was only one surge though, there wasn't much," he said.

"Nothing too special."

Peter Thomson, at the Ngaruroro rivermouth, said he wasn't aware of the warning issued. But despite the expected low size, he said "you can't be too sure" when it came to safety.

Hawke's Bay Civil Defence emergency management controller Ian Macdonald said the key thing was just making people aware of what was happening.

"The key message that we have is people just need to be aware of what's happening if they're in the coastal area, just listen to their radio."

Meanwhile, a return to fine weather is likely for Hawke's Bay over the next few days with only small scatterings of rain expected northeast of Wairoa.

The rain and cooler temperatures experienced over the past few days are expected to dissipate, heralding a return to more of the warm weather enjoyed last month.

Metservice forecaster Philippa Murdoch said today would be mainly fine for most of the region with a few showers for the "northeast corner past Wairoa", but those would be clearing out later in the evening.

Napier and Hastings would be "fine and dry", she said.

Highs in the mid-20s were expected for today and tomorrow, with it warming further at the weekend. Saturday and Sunday will be fine with light winds.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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