A powerful earthquake of 7.3 magnitude struck off the remote Kermadec islands of New Zealand early Tuesday morning according to the US Geological Survey. There have been no reports of major damage or casualties.
The quake struck at a depth of 22 miles under the seabed at 3:09 a.m. An hour later a second 5.3 magnitude aftershock struck. Such activity can generate a local tsunami that can be extremely destructive to the island coastlines. The USGS has not issued tsunami warnings thus far.
Earthquakes and volcanic activity are common in New Zealand, where continental plates meet in what is known as the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’.
We’ve included some picturesque photos of the region. Check out our photo gallery below.