A strong intensity earthquake reading 7.3 on the Richter scale hit 85 kilometres east of New Zealand’s Island at about 2.27 local time. A Tsunami warning was issued by the New Zealand Seismological Agency.
New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency has ordered citizens at coastal cities and settlements to rush to higher grounds.
The National Emergency Management Agency tweeted, “We have issued a TSUNAMI WARNING for New Zealand coastal areas following the magnitude 7.3 earthquake near EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND NEW ZEALAND. There is a LAND and MARINE TSUNAMI THREAT. An EMA will be issued to areas under land and marine tsunami threat. TSUNAMI WARNING: Listen to local civil defence authorities and follow any evacuation instructions. Coastal inundation (flooding of land areas) is expected in areas under Land and Marine threat. Areas under LAND and MARINE THREAT: The East Coast of the North Island from CAPE RUNAWAY to TOLAGA BAY. Strong and unusual currents and unpredictable surges near the shore are expected in other coastal areas. Stay out of the water. Stay off beaches and shore areas. Do not go sightseeing. Share this information.
The first waves may have reached NZ in the areas around East Cape at approximately 3:34 am. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled.”
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre also cautioned people with the statement “Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300km of the epicentre along the coast of New Zealand.”