Magnitude 8.1 earthquake strikes New Zealand

RAUMATI BEACH, New Zealand (NBC) – A strong magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off the east of New Zealand’s north island, prompting a tsunami warning that was later withdrawn, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Although, residents were asked to stay alert.

There is no tsunami danger for the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, or Alaska.

There were no immediate reports of damage, but the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) advised people in some coastal areas to move immediately to high ground.

Video shows a resident in his bedroom reacting in surprise as it and its contents shake during the earthquake.

Local civil defense authorities said the tsunami threat would continue for several hours.

The closest major city to the epicenter is Gisborne with a population of about 35,000.

People near the coast in the area were told to evacuate.

Aftershocks were still being recorded in the area.

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