UPDATE @ 11:13 AM: A tsunami warning issued for parts of New Zealand’s North Island following a powerful magnitude-7.1 earthquake has been cancelled.
The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management said coasts may still experience unusual, strong currents and sea level fluctuations lasting for several more hours.
People have been advised to stay out of the water and to expect aftershocks for several days.
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EARLIER @ 4:44 AM: A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of New Zealand after a powerful 7.1 magntiude quake struck off the east coast early on Friday morning.
New Zealand’s Civil Defense Ministry issued a Tsunami Potential Threat advisory for all New Zealand coastal areas by saying that strong tsunami currents and surges are possible following the earthquake.
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
According to the US Geological Survey, the tremor struck off the east coast, 167km northeast of the town of Gisborne, at a depth of 30.7km.
Officials have urged people along the coast to evacuate to higher ground.
Locals took to social media, with most confirming the quake lasted for between 30 seconds and a minute.
There have been no reports of casualties or damage to buildings.
The area in which the quake occurred, on the eastern margin of the Australia plate, is among the most seismically active on the planet, according to USGS.