Civil Defence screw-up: Apology after accidentally tweeting earthquake, tsunami warning

A closeup of a seismograph machine needle drawing a red line on graph paper depicting seismic and eartquake activity on an isolated white background
Photo credit: File / Civil Defence

Civil Defence has apologised for alarming Kiwis by accidentally tweeting an old earthquake notification.

On Thursday afternoon, it posted to Twitter and Facebook that there had been a 6.6-magnitude earthquake south of the Kermadec Islands. It added that Civil Defence was assessing whether it posed a potential tsunami risk to New Zealand.

Civil Defence screw-up: Apology after accidentally tweeting earthquake, tsunami warning
Photo credit: Civil Defence / Twitter

Newshub reported the story, as did Radio New Zealand. But within minutes, Civil Defence deleted its original tweet and published another saying "there is no current event".

It apologised for causing confusion, saying the first tweet "related to an old earthquake notification".

Soon after it followed up with yet another damage control tweet, stating: "There is no tsunami threat to New Zealand".

Many on social media were both confused and relieved, with one calling it a "scary mistake".

Director Sarah Stuart-Black told Magic Talk that Civil Defence is investigating how an old notification had been sent out as though it were breaking news.

"We'll be looking into this and taking any corrective action, because it's important people have confidence in these notifications."

Newshub.

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