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'Surreal' - First images appear to show tsunami waves reaching Tokomaru Bay

Footage of what appears to be tsunami waves reaching Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand have been posted on social media.

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The footage was taken from a hill overlooking the settlement north of Gisborne. Source: Supplied

Claudia Maaka posted the footage this morning on a hill away from the coast.

“There it is whanau. Oh gosh!” Claudia can be heard saying as the waves roll in.

Speaking to 1 NEWS, Claudia says watching the waves come in was "surreal". She says no major waves have occurred since then.

An alert message to evacuate and move to higher ground for people in parts of the North Island was sent out this morning following a powerful earthquake near the Kermadec Islands this morning.

The 8.1 quake at a depth of 10km struck at 8.28am following a 7.1 earthquake which struck at 2.27am.