6.9 Magnitude Quake Hits New Zealand’s Gisborne, Tsunami Warning Issued

New Zealand authorities have issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas after a shallow, powerful earthquake struck off the north-eastern coast on Friday morning.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties. The magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck at 2.27am (12.27am Friday AEDT) at a depth of 10 kilometres under the ocean about 178 kilometres north-east of the city of GisborneNew Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency warned of a tsunami threat along the east of the country’s North Island from the quake, which it measured at magnitude 7.3.”Hope everyone is ok out there – especially on the East Coast who would have felt the full force of that earthquake,” Prime Minister Jacinta Arden said, on Instagram.

The emergency agency warned anyone near the coast from Cape Runaway to Tolaga Bay and anyone who felt a “long and strong” quake to “move immediately” to the nearest high ground or as far inland as possible.

“Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions.”If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home.”The NEMA said while the first waves may have reached the coast just after 3.30am (1.30am AEDT) the first wave would not necessarily be the largest.

“Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is cancelled,” the agency said, on Twitter.The US Tsunami Warning System predicted waves of 0.3 to 1 metre.

Residents of Gisborne reported light to moderate shaking, the US Geological Survey said.The Bureau of Meteorology said there was no tsunami threat to Australia.A magnitude 6.3 quake hit the city of Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people and destroying much of its downtown.