Powerful quake hits the Kermadecs, no tsunami threat to NZ

A strong earthquake in the Kermadec Islands region won't cause a tsunami that'll reach New Zealand, Civil Defence says.

The magnitude 7.2 quake struck 949km northeast of Whakatane at 10:55am. IT was 10km deep.

The location of the quake marked in blue.
The location of the quake marked in blue. Photo credit: USGS

"If a tsunami has been generated in this location it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least two hours," Civil Defence warned at 11am on Sunday.

At 11:45am, Civil Defence said there was no tsunami threat.

"Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to New Zealand."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said waves forecast less than 30cm high could potentially reach New Zealand and a number of islands in the region, including New Caledonia and Fiji.

The tremor was initially reported at magnitude 7.4, but the US Geological Survey later said it measured 7.2.

It was preceded by a quake measuring 6.1 just to north, east of Tonga.