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8.1 Magnitude Earthquake Sparks Major Tsunami Warning For New Zealand

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8.1 Magnitude Earthquake Sparks Major Tsunami Warning For New Zealand

People in the north-east of New Zealand's North Island have been told to immediately move to higher ground after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the Kermadec Islands.

The National Emergency Management Agency issued a warning at 8:45am (local time).

"People near coast from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay, and Great Barrier Island must move immediately to nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible," it said.

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It added that even if people didn't feel the massive quake, they should still seek higher ground.

New Zealand Herald said hundreds of people in the affected areas were seen gathering their things and moving as quickly as possible to a safe location.

Traffic has been 'bumper to bumper' as many try to follow the advice, however authorities are warning residents in the affected area might have to walk or cycle to get to the safe zone.

The 8.1 magnitude quake was the third and largest to be felt by New Zealand in the early hours of the morning (March 5).

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There was a 7.4 magnitude quake that hit near Raoul Island in the Kermadecs at 6.41am (local time), which was slightly larger than the 7.3 quake that struck just off New Zealand's North Island's east coast at 2.27am.

People will be allowed to return to their homes once Civil Defense gives the all clear.

Featured Image Credit: USGS

Topics: News

Stewart Perrie
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