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    HomeOceaniaAustraliaNew Zealand is hit by 7.3-magnitude earthquake triggering tsunami warning

    New Zealand is hit by 7.3-magnitude earthquake triggering tsunami warning

    A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of New Zealand today, triggering warnings of a possible tsunami.

    New Zealanders on the coast of the North Island were told to flee inland or to high ground if they felt a ‘long or strong’ tremor in the early hours of Friday local time.

    Witnesses described a ‘very long, swaying shake’ and houses making ‘cracking sounds’ in a tremor which some thought had lasted for as long as a minute, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

    Tsunami waves were possible within 180 miles of the earthquake’s epicentre, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

    The quake, which came less than an hour after a 3.7-magnitude rumble in the same area, was measured at 110 miles from the city of Gisborne.

    The Pacific nation’s emergency management agency said in a 3am update that it was ‘assessing whether [the earthquake] has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand’.

    The United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake’s depth at six miles and said it had struck shortly before 2.30am New Zealand time.

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