Magnitude 7.8 quake hits off New Zealand

Powerful earthquake near New Zealand, the Kermadec Islands and Tonga.

    New Zealand civil defence authorities cancelled a tsunami warning on Thursday but warned of possible stronger than normal ocean currents around the east coast of the country after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean north east of the country.

    It said a tsunami was generated by the earthquake around the Kermadec Islands, around 1180km north east of New Zealand, but scientists has advised it was of no threat to New Zealand.

    "However, they expect that there will be unusually strong tidal surges and currents," the Civil Defence Ministry said in a statement.

    The first surge had been expected at eastern coastal areas of the North Island just before 9 a.m. local time (2100 GMT), but there were no reports of unusual activity.

    The quake struck at 07:03am Thursday local time at a depth of just one kilometre, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

    Its epicentre was 160km east of Raoul Island and 914 kilometres from the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa.

    A small research team on Raoul Island, the main island in the group was reported safe and well.

    USGS revised the quake's magnitude slightly downward from an earlier reading of 7.8.

    ?

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?