In its latest alert to national authorities, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre warned waves are expected hit Fiji, Kermadec Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Tonga and Vanuatu. Preliminary data from the organisation says the 7.4 magnitude quake struck south of the Kermadec Islands, which are around 800–1,000 km northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake’s epicentre is around 685 km northeast of Opotiki, a town on New Zealand’s North Island.
Immediately after the quake struck an alert was issued as part of the UNESCO/IOC Pacific Tsunami warning and mitigation system which said: “Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300km of the epicentre.”
The warning adds governments should inform and instruct any coastal populations.
Initial forecasts say tsunami waves will be around 0.3m above tide level.
New Zealand’s emergency management agency is assessing the earthquake’s threat to the nation and is expected to provide an update soon.
The National Emergency Management Agency tweeted: “We are assessing whether the M7.4 SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS earthquake at @@[email protected]@ has created a tsunami that could affect New Zealand.
“We will provide an update as soon as the initial assessment has been completed.”
New Zealand is situated on the seismic hotspot known as the Ring of Fire which runs around the Pacific Ocean.
More to follow.
This is a breaking news story, please refresh the page for updates.