A marine and beach alert was issued on Friday for the North Island's west coast, including Whanganui, after a swarm of earthquakes struck off the coast of New Zealand.
The warning, which instructed people to stay away from the water, was issued around 10am and was lifted shortly after 2pm on Friday.
Whanganui District Council emergency manager Tim Crowe said the move was a precautionary one for the area.
"You may seem some unusual waves and tidal movements. It's a pretty precautionary move," Crowe said.
"No properties are at risk. But it's probably not a good day to go for a beach walk or to take the boat out. It could rock you off your boat comparable to a rogue wave."
Crowe said Whanganui moves to this threat level around three times each year.
As a precautionary measure, the Whanganui Civil Defence team put up warning signs at beaches across Whanganui and also closed the gates at Kai Iwi Beach just outside of the city.
The warnings were issued after a strong earthquake struck near the Kermadec Islands, about 1000km north of New Zealand.
The magnitude 8.1 quake was recorded at a depth of just under 20km at 8.28am on Friday. It followed an earlier magnitude 7.4 earthquake near the Kermadec Islands.
Earlier quake wakes thousands
Earlier on Friday, residents across the wider Whanganui region were jolted awake around 2.30am after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the East Coast of the North Island.
The quake was centered 105km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 90km.
According to GeoNet, tens of thousands of people across New Zealand reported feeling the quake, with a large number of people in Whanganui reporting the shaking as "strong" or "severe".
On social media, many residents in the region reported feeling the quake; however, there appeared to be no reports of damage.
"Felt it in Whanganui as a reasonable creaky shake - nothing fell down," one Twitter user said.
"I'm in Whanganui on the third floor at the hospital and it was big and lasted ages," another user posted.
Crowe said he was not aware of any damage around the district as a result of the quake.
"We had a drive around as well. I had a mobile unit checking beaches and other locations," Crowe said.
"The longtitudunal waves, or the rocking waves that we got, their frequency I wouldn't expect from that distance for us to get any damage. You'd have to be a lot closer."