The Kermadec Islands are 500–620 miles northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. The East Coast of the North Island from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay including Whakatane and Opotiki and Great Barrier Island are all included in the Pacific nation’s tsunami warning.
“The earthquake may not have been felt in some of these areas, but evacuation should be immediate as a damaging tsunami is possible,” the agency statement reads.
“People in all other areas who felt a long or strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or lasted longer than a minute, should move immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible.”
The statement adds that the evacuation notice overrides Covid-19 advisories.
The earthquake is the largest to strike anywhere in the world since August of 2018, when an 8.2-magnitude quake struck much deeper underground, also in the South Pacific, near Fiji.
Only around one or fewer earthquakes of 8.0-magnitude or greater occur each year.
This is a developing story. More to come.