7.1-magnitude quake rocks New Zealand; tsunami alert issued
A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck early Friday off the northeastern coast of New Zealand, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning.
The tremor occurred 19 miles beneath the ocean about 103 miles northeast of the city of Gisborne, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No reports of serious damage or injuries have yet been reported from the quake.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense said there was a “potential tsunami threat” after the quake, a common warning in Pacific countries after a major seismic event.
“The first tsunami activity has arrived. Tsunami activity will continue for several hours and the threat must be regarded as real until this warning is canceled,” the ministry said. It warned against boating and sightseeing in the area.
In 2011, the city of Christchurch on South Island was devastated by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that left 185 people dead.