Tsunami warning after major earthquake strikes New Zealand

A shallow, powerful earthquake struck off the north-eastern coast of New Zealand on Friday morning, with officials warning of a possible tsunami threat.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties, but the National Emergency Management Agency issued an official tsunami warning.

The quake measured a preliminary 6.9 magnitude and was centred at a depth of 10 kilometres about 178 kilometres north-east of Gisborne, the US Geological Survey said.

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

New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said it was still assessing whether the quake had triggered a tsunami that could affect the country. It measured the quake at magnitude 7.3.

The earthquake comes just over a week since the country marked 10 years since a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, killing 185 people and injured thousands more on February 22, 2011.

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