London [United Kingdom], Nov. 13 : A Tsunami has hit New Zealand's east coast following a powerful earthquake that had struck the South Island.
The New Zealand civil defence said the South Island has been hit by the first wave and warned that more could reach the coast in the hours ahead, reports the Guardian.
It advised anyone near the shoreline to move to higher ground immediately. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an earthquake of 7.4 magnitude hit 59 miles (95km) from Christchurch. A Tsunami warning has been issued by the civil defence for the entire east coast and said the situation is being assessed by it with the assistance of scientific advisers and civil defence groups.
There are reports that houses in Cheviot, near the earthquake's epicentre in Canterbury, have been badly damaged.