New Zealand Shaken by Powerful Earthquake - Tsunami Alert Stated

A powerful earthquake has struck off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, shaking residents of New Zealand biggest cities. The power was registered at a magnitude of over 7.

A tsunami warning was issued for an area of 300 kilometres around the epicentre, and the national disaster authority said the first waves may have already hit the coast around East Cape.

"The threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled," the National Emergency Management Authority tweeted.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or significant damage.

The quake, at a depth of 20 kilometres according to the US Geological Survey, hit in the early hours of Friday, at 2:27 am (1327 GMT Thursday).

The USGS said the earthquake had a magnitude of 7.3, while the local GeoNet monitoring centre put the quake at 7.1, at a depth of 90 kilometres.

The main quake was followed by several aftershocks measuring about 5 in magnitude.

People near the coast are advised to "move immediately to the nearest high ground, or as far inland as they can".

Radio New Zealand reported that hundreds of people in various areas had moved to higher ground.

 

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