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Powerful quake hits near New Zealand; tsunami warning issued

Strong quake near NZ

Officials in New Zealand issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas after a shallow, powerful earthquake struck off the northeastern coast on Thursday night.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

New 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. The U.S. Tsunami Warning System predicted waves of 0.3 to 1 metre.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 6.9. It said it was centred at a depth of 10 kilometres under the ocean about 178 km northeast of the city of Gisborne.

Residents of Gisborne reported light to moderate shaking, it said.

A magnitude 6.3 quake hit the city of Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people and destroying much of its downtown.



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