Tsunami warning issued after 7.2-magnitude quake strikes off New Zealand

  • Tsunami warning issued after 7.2-magnitude quake strikes off New Zealand

Tsunami warning issued after 7.2-magnitude quake strikes off New Zealand

The emergency body said the tsunami threat applied to the east of the country's North Island.

The 2.30am quake, which came less than an hour after a 3.7-magnitude rumble in the same area, was measured at 110 miles from the city of Gisborne.

"NEMA [National Emergency Management Agency] and GNS Science have assessed that the magnitude 7.3 quake east of the North Island has created a tsunami that could cause coastal inundation (flooding of land areas) is expected in the The East Coast of the North Island from Cape Runaway to Tolaga Bay".

New Zealand authorities have urged an evacuation in a 100-mile stretch of coast on the North Island, telling people to flee to high ground or "as far inland as possible". "Do not return until an official all-clear message is given by Civil Defence", reads a post on Twitter.

The USGS initially pegged the quake at 7.3, then revised it down to 6.9. It struck 105km to the east of Te Araroa.

"The quake lasted for a good 30 seconds", says a SunLive reader who lives at Mount Maunganui.

More than 60,000 people reported feeling the quake on seismic monitor GeoNet, with a few hundred describing the shaking as "severe" and 75 calling it "extreme".

"My bed was rocking and I could hear my rocking chair outside moving". The event was filed by New Zealand's Earthquake Commission and Geological Survey (GeoNet), the first seismological agency to report it.

The situation may change as more information becomes available.

"We will send an update when we have completed a further assessment".