(Adds new information, quotes)
WELLINGTON Jul 7 New Zealand civil defence
authorities said they expected stronger than normal ocean
currents and a possible increase in the size of waves around the
eastern coast but no wall of water after a magnitude 7.8
earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean north east of the
A tsunami warning was issued for eastern coastal areas of
the North Island, including the country's main city Auckland,
with the first surge expected just before 9 a.m. local time
However, the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Center, which issued the
original warning after the quake, later cancelled its warning,
but reported waves were 2.2-2.7 feet (68-84 cm) high around
Raoul Island, the main island in the Kermadecs.
New Zealand civil defence maintained a warning that people
should stay out of the water and away from beaches in the target
"We might get quite extreme currents, so it is a threat to
boats, but we're not anticipating damage to land," Clive Manly
the civil defence controller for the Auckland region, told radio
He said it was possible that waves of up to a metre above
normal heights might occur.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 7:03
a.m. on Thursday (1903 GMT on Wednesday) at the epicenter, 131
miles (211 km) east of Raoul Island, part of the Kermadec
archipelago, and was only 30 miles (48 km) deep, the USGS said.
The Kermadec Islands are uninhabited except for science and
conservation teams, and sit around 1180 kilometres north east of
They sit in a geologically active region of the South
Pacific where the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates
meet, and large earth tremors are not unusual.
New Zealand has been more alert to earthquakes since the
South Island city of Christchurch, was struck by two devastating
quakes in September last year and in February this year. The
latter killed 181 people and caused an estimated NZ$15 billion