A Tsunami warning has been issued for coastal areas of New Zealand following the M8.0 earthquake in the country's northeastern coast on Thursday night.
According to an official statement by the National Emergency Management Agency, a Tsunami warning has been issued following the M8.0 earthquake north-east of New Zealand near the Kermadec Islands region.
'People near the coast in the following areas must move immediately to the nearest high ground, out of all tsunami evacuation zones, or as far inland as possible. DO NOT STAY AT HOME. The East Coast of the North Island from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei, from Matata to Tolaga Bay including Whakatane and Opotiki, and Great Barrier Island.'
The agency further said that though the earthquake might not have been felt in some of these areas but the evacuation is necessary over the possibility of a damaging tsunami.
'Evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions regarding evacuation of your area. If you are told to evacuate do not stay at home. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so,' it added.
'Hope everyone is ok out there -- especially on the East Coast who would have felt the full force of that earthquake,' Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern posted on Instagram after the earthquake.