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Tsunami warning after massive 7.4 earthquake hits the Kermadec Islands

A massive 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Kermadec Islands the Pacific Ocean sparking a tsunami warning.

New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management issued a beach warning, telling locals to expect unusually strong, hazardous currents and unpredictable surges near the shore. 

The quake struck at about 9am (AEST) near the Kermadec Islands region - about midway between Auckland and Tonga.

Preliminary investigations suggested New Zealand may avoid the tsunami, but Kiwi's are urged to take care near the foreshore.

The NZ Civil Defence redacted their initial warning shortly after with a statement on Twitter reading:

'Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the earthquake is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will pose a threat to NZ.'

The severity of currents and surges in tide may be unpredictable in the coming hours.

If a tsunami did hit New Zealand, it was predicted to arrive within two hours of the initial quake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a statement warning a tsunami threat exists more urgently for parts of the Pacific located closer to where the earthquake took place.

Based on preliminary investigations, coastlines within a 300km radius of the epicenter could be threatened.

Concerned locals have been encouraged to keep updated by checking in with the website and Twitter @NZCivilDefence.

There is no current threat to Australia.

If a tsunami does hit New Zealand, it is not predicted to arrive for at least another two hours


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