7.6 quake in Solomons a tsunami warning

Civil Defence says there is now no risk of a tsunami in New Zealand after a large 7.6 quake in the Solomon Islands

Civil Defence national public information manager Vince Cholewa said tsunami experts had assessed the risks and called off any threats to New Zealand. However there would be strong and different currents along the coast and people in the water and boaties needed to be careful, Cholewa said.

Harbours and estuaries would be particularly bad for most of the day.

Earlier, even though the earthquake in the Solomon Islands had been downgraded to a magnitude 7.6, New Zealand's national crisis management centre was activated.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Watch Centre, the epicentre of the quake was located 324 kilometres south-east of the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.

The earthquake was originally registered as magnitude 8.3 but was later revised down to 7.6 by the US Geological Survey.

It was initially unclear what damage was caused in the Solomons, which are recovering from recent deadly flooding.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) also included the Chatham Islands in the potential threat, which will remain active until it is upgraded to a tsunami warning or cancelled.

People in coastal areas have been warned that a tsunami is possible, and to listen to the radio and TV for further assessment and updates.

Christchurch also experienced two earthquakes this morning.

A 'strong' 4.2 quake struck 5km south-east of Christchurch at 8.36am at a depth of 5km.

A moderate 3.8 quake followed three minutes later at the same location and depth.