Earthquake off New Zealand sparks tsunami warning
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An earthquake struck miles off the coast of New Zealand early Friday local time and sparked a tsunami warning for the northeastern part of the country.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) issued its tsunami warning after reporting a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in the ocean. The first waves were estimated to reach the East Cape area at 3:14 a.m. local time.

The agency’s emergency officials warned the coastal areas from Cape Runaway to Tolaga Bay about flooding and “all other coastal areas on the north island” of “strong and unusual currents” and “unpredictable surges.”

NEMA noted that any evacuation orders “overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements.”

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.  

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the earthquake at a 7.3 magnitude with a depth of about 12 miles about 108 miles northeast of the city of Gisborne shortly before 2:30 a.m.

New Zealand was previously struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2011, resulting in 185 deaths in Christchurch.