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Tsunami hits New Zealand after 7.8 magnitude earthquake

A tsunami has hit after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake intensity was 7.8 magnitude. Following the quake, New Zealand civil defense had issued tsunami warning

The tsunami arrived in the north-eastern coast about two hours later. Officials said the first waves may not be the largest, with tsunami activity possible for several hours.

Residents have been asked to head inland or for higher ground along the coast.

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A gauge at Kaikoura, 181 km (112 miles) north of Christchurch, measured a wave of two metres (6ft 5ins). Smaller waves are said to be arriving in Wellington and other areas.

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Residents in the Chatham Islands, an archipelago 423 miles (680km) south-east of the mainland, were also being warned a wave would hit imminently by the civil defence.

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Thousands of people have already evacuated their homes as aftershocks continue to hit the area.  The earthquake was felt across large swathes of New Zealand, including Wellington.