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7.2 quake off New Zealand triggers brief tsunami scare

7.2 quake off New Zealand triggers brief tsunami scare
A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck some 100km off L'Esperance Rock, north of New Zealand, briefly triggering a tsunami warning for multiple coasts within a 300km radius.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert for the coasts of New Zealand, American Samoa, the Cook Islands and Fiji, noting however that the waves were not expected to reach more than 0.3 meters above the tide level. Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu were warned as well, in addition to Wallis and Futuna.

The local governments were advised to separately assess the potential threat and inform the public. “Persons located in threatened coastal areas should stay alert” and follow instructions from the local relief agencies, the PTCW warning stated.

The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management initially issued a tsunami warning as well, but revoked the threat a few minutes later. “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 agency said on Twitter.

The Kermadec Islands where the earthquake struck are part of the so-called Pacific 'Ring of Fire,' which is regularly rattled by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The uninhabited islands which sit in south Pacific Ocean are located roughly 800km northeast of New Zealand’s North Island.

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