Civil Defence officials have issued a tsunami warning following a 7.1 quake that shook North Island this morning.

The quake hit at 4.37am, around 100km northeast of the East Cape settlement of Te Araroa, at a depth of 55km.

Shortly after 6am a potential tsunami threat was upgraded to a warning by Civil Defence.

Those living in coastal areas should be aware tsunami currents and surges were possible.

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The warning covers the East coast of the North Island, including Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty and the upper South Island.


Warning for Gisborne

People living along Gisborne district's coastline were earlier told by local Civil Defence authorities to go to higher ground or as far inland as possible.

Civil Defence now says people can now return to their homes, but they're being strongly advised to stay away from beaches and away from streams and estuaries.

People in the above/ coastal areas should:

1. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
2. Stay off beaches and shore areas
3. Do not go sightseeing
4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
5. Check news websites, listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
6. Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities