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Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Coast Of New Zealand

Powerful 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Coast Of New Zealand

A major magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck off the coast of New Zealand

The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake hit off the east coast of New Zealand’s northern island around 4:37 p.m. UTC at a depth of around 159 kilometers

USGS initially reported the quake to be 7.2 but have since downgraded it to 7.1.

Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency said there was no tsunami threat to the state.

There have been no immediate reports of any damage or casualties

Radio New Zealand reports:

Civil Defence was advising anyone living near the coast needs to evacuate the area, take their radio with them and immediately go to higher ground.

The national civil defence centre warned people in coastal areas to note that strong tsunami currents and surges were possible.

The warning noted the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and its scientific advisors were still assessing the severity of the tsunami threat.

Civil Defence public information officer Sheridan Gundry says the emergency management centre has been activated.

He said it was best to walk or ride bicycles, rather than jam the roads up with cars.

The lines company for Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast says the quake caused two power outages in the region.

Eastland Network says the outages were near Rototahi and Waimata but power has since been restored to the 300 affected homes.

Meanwhile police and the fire service say there has been no reports of any damage yet.

RNZ listeners reported feeling the quake as far south as Akaroa and as far North as Kerikeri in Northland.

It followed a smaller 5.7 earthquake which hit the area about 10am yesterday.