New Zealand: Magnitude 8.1 earthquake and issued Tsunami warning

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Authorities issue tsunami warning for northeastern New Zealand near Kermadec Islands region.

A magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck the northeastern coast of New Zealand on Friday, triggering a tsunami alert for the region.

The quake hit the Kermadec Islands at 7.28 p.m. (0628GMT) at a depth of 19.4 kilometers (12 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.

New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said the tremor measured 8.0 magnitude.

The agency issued a tsunami warning for northeastern New Zealand near the Kermadec Islands region following a second powerful quake in less than six hours.

“People near the coast in the following areas must MOVE IMMEDIATELY to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible. DO NOT STAY AT HOME,” the agency said in a statement.

“The East Coast of the North Island from the BAY OF ISLANDS to WHANGAREI, from MATATA to TOLAGA BAY including Whakatane and Opotiki.”

Earlier, a magnitude 7.3 quake struck northern New Zealand, triggering a tsunami warning for coastal areas.

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