The central North Island was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake early this morning, located 130km north-east of Te Araroa.
Below is ONE News Now's coverage from today:
12.38pm: The east coast is having a rough go of it today after the early morning 7.1 quake. Since 12.30pm, in the last 20 minutes, they've had separate 3.6, 3.3 and 4.3 magnitude quakes. Unfortunately, it look like there's plenty more in coming days.
12.10pm: Remarkable vision from Radio Ngati Porou of the impact of the big quake on the river mouth of the River Waiapu River.
11.55am: Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon was up to watch the earthquake - and he took this video earlier today.
11.40am: Some kind thoughts from our Rachel.
Meanwhile, here's a video which tells a small part of this morning's big story.
11.32am: The aftershocks keep coming with magnitude 2.8, 2.9 and 3.1 tremors within the past 20 minutes.
11.20am: Horizon Energy is reporting power cuts to around 1000 customers at Whakatane and Opotiki, as a result of the quake.
The strength of the quake at 4.39am then cut power to 1,000 customers in the White Pine Bush Rd area between Whakatane and Opotiki.
10.47am: Local resident Waitangi Chelsey has captured video of Te Araroa residents getting in their cars and, if not fleeing, certainly evacuating in the early morning to maunga Whetumatarau higher up on the mountain.
10.38am: Here's how 7 News in Australia reported today's earthquake.
10.23am: Tologa Bay School is shut today, as a result of the quake. It was felt as far north as Auckland, with a senior ONE News figure woken in his room on the North Shore to see some swaying.
Meanwhile, despite being asked to stay away from beaches this was no doubt a familiar sight at many beaches, waiting for the tsunami, bigger waves to arrive.
10.05am: As the news of today's 7.1 quake broke, ONE News journalist Jessica Mutch has been beaming into foreign broadcasts to update the situation. Here she was a short time ago, speaking with Australia's Today Show on Channel 9.
9.42am: The aftershocks are rolling in along the East Coast with a total of 13 "weak" to "light" shakes in the past hour alone, GeoNet has recorded.
The magnitude of the small shakes have ranged from 2.8 to 3.8 on the Richter Scale.
9.15am: Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management controller John Clarke says people should still be aware that unusual and strong currents and sea level fluctuations could last for several more hours.
"If people feel another long and strong earthquake, they should again head for higher ground or as far inland as possible.
People in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne are being advised to keep out of the water for the next six hour.
8.45am: Aftershocks are continuing to hit the East Cape, with residents on alert for more shakes.
People in Te Araroa, the township closest to the earthquake’s epicentre, have returned to their homes after a tsunami warning was cancelled but remain cautious.
Te Araroa Eastern Foursquare Store owner Liz Koia said she was on “tenterhooks” for more aftershocks.
“We just had an aftershock so we shot out under the door. The sea is right next door so hopefully the sea doesn’t come up,” she said.
Ms Koia said the earthquakes were “very scary” but no damage had happened to her store.
“Considering the severity we had no damage, we had some stuff fall off the shelf but that was it,” she said.
8.30am: Civil Defence has cancelled the tsunami marine and beach threat warning in place for the North Coast regions of the North Island. It says the greatest tsunami activity has now passed but coasts may still experience unusual, strong currents and sea level fluctuations lasting for several more hours.
8.10am: A “strong” 5.4 quake has struck 10km south of Te Araroa, on the East Cape. The quake, which struck at 8.05am, was at a depth of 42km, GeoNet reports. Dozens of smaller aftershocks have been recorded.
- The quake struck at 4.37am off the East Cape and measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.
- There has been some tsunami activity, with a 30cm surge on East Cape and Great Barrier Island.
- Civil defence says the threat is real and people should stay away from shorelines, rivers and estuaries.
- Areas under ‘Marine and Beach Threat’ can expect unusually strong currents and unpredictable water flows near the shore.
- Residents on East Cape have been advised to self evacuate and locals in the area have told ONE News there is a steady stream of people heading to high ground.
- East Cape residents are asked to watch us for official updates.
- East Cape, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne have likely already experienced the maximum wave heights but these areas will still experience waves and currents.
7.50am: Stock crashes off supermarket shelves at New World Whakatane.
7.45am: Britomart train station reopens. Newmarket station experiencing huge numbers of people as extra buses are put on to try to get the backlog of people into the CBD.
7.30am: Auckland's Britomart station has been evacuated as a precautionary measure due to the tsunami warning. All trains to Britomart have been suspended with most terminating at Newmarket. Auckland Transport is organising more buses to pick people up and advice is to take alternative transport.
- People in the Gisborne district may return to their homes but are strongly advised to stay off the beaches and away from streams and estuaries this morning.
- Several 30cm surges have been experienced.
- A tsunami threat to marine and beach areas remains in force.
- Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management controller John Clarke says if people feel another long and strong earthquake, they should again head for higher ground or as far inland as possible.
- Schools are open today except for Tolaga Bay Area School, which had to make a call early because of school buses.
- Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management advises people to listen to their local radio for advice from Civil Defence or see Gisborne District Council’s Facebook page.
- People in coastal areas should note that tsunami currents and surges are possible for the next 24 hours.
7.10am: Tolaga Bay Area School is closed because of school bus issues.
7.00am: Gisborne service station worker Melissa Down says petrol pumps were "swaying, bending and rolling".Hicks Bay residents have been asked to move to higher ground.
6.55am: Jody Campbell of the Hicks Bay Motel and Lodge – which is on a cliff top overlooking the bay - says “everyone’s a bit shook up – including myself". Jody, a Wisconsin native, told ONE News: "We’ve got the fire boss here, and we’re giving people coffee, there’s a pregnant woman here too”.
6.45am: Civil Defence has issued a tsunami warning for East Coast of the North Island (including Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty). The warning has been lifted for the upper South Island. A tsunami was generated at East Cape with a wave measuring 30cm recorded.
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6.30am recap: The quake struck at 4.37am off the East Cape and measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.
- So far there have been no reports of damage or injury.
- It was widely felt with people from Northland to Canterbury saying they felt it.
- A potential tsunami warning has been issued which may be upgraded.
- Civil Defence is still assessing the situation and in the meantime warns people living in coastal areas to be prepared and listen for updates.
- The Tairawhiti Civil Defence emergency management centre has been activated.
6.25am: Sheridan Gundry from Tairawhiti Civil Defence told Breakfast there have been no reports of damage of injury although there were some brief power outages.
6.20am: Civil Defence in Wellington has given the 'all clear' and there is no tsunami threat to Hawkes Bay but a marine and beach threat remains. It says take care near beaches and coastal rivers.
6.10am: Small 30cm surges have been recorded at East Cape. The first waves aren't always the biggest and the advice remains to get to higher ground or as far inland as possible.
6am: Confirmation a tsunami generated at East Cape, with a wave measuring 30cm a short time ago.
6am: The Ministry of Civil Defence has issued a tsunami warning for East Coast of the North Island. The warning covers Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and upper South Island.
The Tairawhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management centre has been activated.
Communications advisor Sheridan Gundry says no official tsunami warning has been received but has urged anyone living on the Gisborne region coastline who felt the earthquake as “long and strong” to get to higher ground or as far inland as possible.
Areas such as Tologa Bay and Te Araroa could be impacted.
People are being advised to take their radios and pets with them if possible.
Almost 5000 people said they felt the tremor which struck just after 4.30am.
Shockwaves were felt throughout the North Island and the Nelson region, but concentrated on the Bay of Plenty and Wellington.
The quake was at a depth of 55 kilometres and has been followed by a flurry of aftershocks, the largest being 6.2.
Civil Defence is urging residents to keep an eye on their local social media pages and to listen to local authorities.
People in the affected areas should:
- Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
- Stay off beaches and shore areas
- Do not go sightseeing
- Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
- Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
- Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities