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New Zealand tsunami alert as 'three metre' waves poised to hit NZ- evacuation ordered

The New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency has urged people living along the coast of northern New Zealand to immediately move to high ground. People have been told to move as far inland as possible and to not stay home. The warning comes after a powerful earthquake struck the Kermadec Islands in the South Pacific.

The emergency agency confirmed this is the third earthquake to hit New Zealand today. 

The tsunami warning is now in place from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay, and Great Barrier Island.

Even if the earthquake was not felt, there is a chance the resulting tsunami could still affect coastal areas.

The emergency agency tweeted: "TSUNAMI WARNING issued following Kermadecs earthquake.

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The New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency said: "People who are near the coast in the AREAS UNDER THREAT listed above or near the coast and felt the earthquake LONG OR STRONG, should MOVE NOW.

"DO NOT WAIT for an Emergency Mobile Alert to your mobile phone.

"Move to the nearest high ground, out of tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible."

Coastal areas outside of the immediate evacuation zones are currently under assessment.

People in these areas should move to higher areas if they felt a long or strong earthquake that made it "hard to stand up" or lasted for more than one minutes.

These zones cover all of New Zealand's coastal areas from the north to the south, east to west.

The US National Tsunami Warning Center tweeted at 8.08pm GMT today: "Tsunami Info Stmt: M8.0 Kermadec Islands, New Zealand 1129PST Mar4: Event is being reviewed to determine threat to CA, OR, WA, BC, and AK."

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake rocked New Zealand earlier today at about 3.27am local time.

The tremor was originally reported at magnitude 7.2 but was later downgraded to 6.9.


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