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Authorities have downgraded tsunami warnings after a magnitude-7.8 quake hit New Zealand

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UPDATE 5:16 p.m. EST

Authorities in New Zealand have downgraded tsunami warnings after a powerful magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck the country early Monday. Previous reports noted that it was magnitude-7.4 quake, but now reports are saying 7.8. 

Prime Minister John Key said in a news conference that the tsunami warnings were downgraded to coastal warnings. 


The Associated Press contributed to this update. 

UPDATE 12:52 p.m. EST

Two deaths have been confirmed in Canterbury, New Zealand after a magnitude-7.4 earthquake triggered a tsunami, according to Newshub.


UPDATE 11:21 a.m. EST

A tsunami hit the northeastern coast of New Zealand Sunday morning. Officials said larger waves may still be coming.

Thousands of people have already evacuated, Radio New Zealand reports.

A magnitude-7.4 earthquake hit New Zealand near the city of Christchurch just after midnight Sunday, with strong jolts felt 120 miles away in the capital of Wellington.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries. Initial reports said there was no danger of a tsunami, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center released a warning by about 7 a.m. Eastern time.

In 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch killed 185 people. 

Here's the tsunami warning.

And here's the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence's follow-up warnings.

Earthquake landslide.jpg
Part of a landslide along Kaikoura Road about two hours north of Christchurch, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, after a major earthquake struck New Zealand's south Island early Monday. The powerful earthquake struck in a mostly rural area close to the city of Christchurch but appeared to be more strongly felt in the capital, Wellington, more than 200 Km (120 miles) away. (AP Photo / Angela Morgan)

While there were no reports of major damages, some roads were split, and landslides were triggered.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had visited New Zealand over the weekend.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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