New Zealand withdraws tsunami alert soon after earthquake of magnitude 7.2; authorities warn of 'minor sea level fluctuations'
The Kermadec Islands of New Zealand, struck by a strong earthquake, are the peaks of volcanoes, some active, that rise above sea level and are often rocked by strong tremors.
Authorities had initially forecast 'a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities'
eight minutes later, New Zealand's civil defence organisation gave the all-clear, withdrawing the tsunami alert
The Kermadec Islands are the peaks of volcanoes, some of them active, that rise above sea level and are often rocked by earthquakes
Wellington: A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake stuck near the remote Kermadec Islands northeast of New Zealand Sunday, briefly prompting a tsunami warning.
After initially forecasting "a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities", New Zealand's civil defence organisation gave the all-clear eight minutes later.
The earthquake was given a preliminary magnitude of 7.4, but later downgraded to 7.2 by the US Geological Survey.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also lifted its tsunami warning for parts of the South Pacific but said "minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake".
The earthquake struck at 10.55 am at a depth of 10 kilometres some 928 kilometres north-northeast of the New Zealand city of Tauranga in the North Island.
The Kermadecs are uninhabited apart from a few New Zealand conservation workers based on Raoul Island, the largest in the area.
The islands are the peaks of volcanoes, some of them active, that rise above sea level and are often rocked by earthquakes above magnitude 7.0.
In recent years, they experienced one in 2006, another in 2007 and two in 2011.
The Kermadecs are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotbed of volcanic and earthquake activity at the intersection of several tectonic plates.
The Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands erupted on 19 September and it has so far destroyed or partially destroyed more than 1,000 buildings
The US Geological Survey says the first quake struck about 17 miles south of Naalehu and the second earthquake struck about 20 minutes later in the same area
Pakistan straddles the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes