A major magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck off the coast of New Zealand
7.2 earthquake, 145km NNE of Gisborne, New Zealand. 2016-09-02 04:37:57 at epicenter (8m ago, depth 159km). https://t.co/AJOJK0wH1w
— Earthquakes Tsunamis (@NewEarthquake) September 1, 2016
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.
@NWS_PTWS reports a 7.2M earthquake of the coast of New Zealand. NO Tsunami Threat to Hawaii
— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) September 1, 2016
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.
There is a potential tsunami threat for New Zealand following the 7m earthquake near Te Araroa at 4.38NZ time today. #eqnz
— MCDEM (@NZcivildefence) September 1, 2016
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.