Tsunami waves were possible within 300km of the quake’s epicentre, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says.
A shallow, powerful earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of New Zealand with officials warning of a possible tsunami threat and ordering residents to head for higher ground.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit 180km (111 miles) northeast of the city of Gisborne at 2:27am on Friday (13:27 GMT Thursday).
“Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300km of the earthquake epicentre,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The USGS initially pegged the quake at 7.3, then revised it down to 6.9. It said the quake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 10km (6 miles).
Residents of Gisborne reported light to moderate shaking. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.
We are assessing whether the M7.3 EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND earthquake at 2021-03-05 2:27 AM has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand. We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed.
— National Emergency Management Agency (@NZcivildefence) March 4, 2021