A powerful 6.3 magnitude aftershock has struck New Zealand near where a major 7.8 earthquake hit the country hours earlier.
The initial earthquake occurred after midnight (local time) in the South Island, triggering a two-metre high tsunami. The first wave of the tsunami arrived at Kaikoura just before 2am, with irregular waves of up to two metres being reported.
Residents in the coastal areas fled their homes following the warnings but the tsunami threat has now been downgraded.
Now, an aftershock has hit in Cheviot, which is 100km north of Christchurch. At time of publishing, a further 14 aftershocks have shaken the country.
New Zealand PM John Key earlier addressed the media, confirming two people had died as a result of the earthquake.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull phoned John Key this morning to offer support and said even the Kiwi PM’s office in Wellington was shaken by the initial quake.
More as we get it.