A strong earthquake has hit off the East Coast last night.

The magnitude 4.8 quake struck 80km north-east of Te Araroa at 11.08pm.

It had a depth of 14km and had a "strong" intensity according to GeoNet.

The quake was followed by a much weaker 2.6-magnitude quake with a depth of 21km at 3.58am this morning, located 20km north-west of Te Araroa.