September 1, 2016 12:12 pm
Updated: September 1, 2016 1:48 pm

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits off the coast of New Zealand

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of New Zealand on Friday.

Screenshot / USPS
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A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck off the coast of New Zealand early on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

The quake hit 169 km northeast of Gisborne, New Zealand and had a depth of 30 km, the USGS said.

Twitter users in New Zealand‘s North Island reported being woken up by shaking.

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Civil defense authorities in the country  ordered the evacuation of some coastal areas early on Friday due to fears that an offshore earthquake could cause a tsunami, although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it did not see this as a major threat.

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The Chilean Navy also said it did not expect a tsunami on the coast of the South American nation.

The USGS originally reported the quake as a 7.2 magnitude but later downgraded it to 7.1.

*More to come. 

© 2016 Thompson Reuters

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