A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of New Zealand, 167km northeast of the town of Gisborne, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Officials have urged people along the coast to evacuate to higher ground.
The USGS did not issue a tsunami warning following the earthquake, and has downgraded the magnitude from an initial 7.2 to 7.1, at a depth of 30.7km.
There have been no reports of casualties or damage to buildings as yet.
Full story: rt.com