Magnitude 7.1 quake hits Kermadec Islands, New Zealand

WELLINGTON – New Zealand is assessing the possibility of a tsunami risk after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake jolted the country's northeast islands region.

The quake hit the Kermadec Islands region with a depth of 49 km at 12:41 pm local time.

People should be self-evacuating immediately from all places near the coast where the earthquake was felt "for longer than a minute or was strong enough that it was hard to stand," New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

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"In these areas a tsunami may have been generated and may arrive quickly, so evacuate immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as possible," it added.