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Last night’s tsunami warning for south-eastern Australia, may have come to nothing, but it did demonstrate the worth of the motsunaminitoring system, says one expert.

The warning was announced soon after an earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, occurred off the south coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Chief Meteorologist Dr Chris Ryan, of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, says the epicentre was located in the closest earthquake source zone to Australia, a region known as the Puysegur seduction zone.

He says, despite being close to Australia, the region is far enough away that a tsunami would take more two hours to reach the coast.

Ryan says the tsunami that followed only warranted a ‘marine threat’ warning with waves rising 30 centimetres at Port Kembla, near Wollongong and no significant damage has been reported.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Seismologist David Jepsen, of Geoscience Australia, says it took two hours for waves from New Zealand to get to Tasmania.

He says the Puysegur seduction zone is a region where Australia’s tectonic plate pushes underneath the Pacific plate.

Although the Australian tsunami warning system is one of the best in the world, the system is still pretty new.

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weather perthThe first of the winter weather is expected to hit Perth next week.

Weatherzone meteorologists are forecasting wetter, windier and colder weather for most of the southern half of the state starting on Wednesday.

Weatherzone Head Meteorologist Matthew Pearce said the strength of the cold front would likely result in 20 to 30mm of rain along the coast and exposed areas stretching as far north as Geraldton and at least 5mm everywhere else.

Currently the weather is fine and sunny at 16 degrees with an expected top today of 25 degrees which will last until Sunday.

Some light showers should set in ahead of the cold front early next week.

www.watoday.com.au

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