Strong earthquake 25km from Gisborne

A strong earthquake on Tuesday afternoon struck the North Island about 25km from Gisborne.

The magnitude 5.3 quake hit at a depth of 29km. GeoNet says it could have been felt on White Island, Whakatane, Gisborne, Hastings, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, and other areas.

Sharon Stevenson was at Wainui Beach, east of Gisborne, at the time of the quake. She says she and her husband were thinking of an escape plan.

"We just felt the shaking," she told Newshub. "Then it kept coming."

GeoNet said on Twitter the earthquake was unrelated to the White Island eruption, adding more than 1800 people reported feeling it.

"[It] came out of nowhere and u cud [sic] hear the movement of everything... scary," one person commented on Facebook.

"Yup I blimmen moved to a doorway for that 1 [sic]. My speaker nearly fell over," another said.

Gisborne Civil Defence manager Wiremu Tamati said no tsunami warning has been issued.

Tamati said they were monitoring the situation to see if there was any damage.