Powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes north of New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake stuck near the uninhabited Kermadec islands northeast of New Zealand Sunday, June 16, the US Geological Survey said as authorities monitored for signs of a tsunami.

New Zealand's civil defense organization said it was monitoring the situation and if a tsunami was generated it would take at least two hours to reach the country.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said "hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 km of the epicenter along the coasts of the Kermadec islands."

The earthquake struck at 10:55am (2255 GMT Saturday) some 928 kilometers (575 miles) north-northeast of the New Zealand city of Tauranga in North Island at a depth of 34 km. – Rappler.com