A tsunami warning was issued after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck east of New Zealand's north island.
New Zealand is situated along the ill-famed “ring of fire”, the area most vulnerable to tectonic activities.
The magnitude 7.7 quake was registered at a depth of 10 kilometres south-east of the Loyalty Islands.
No major damage was reported, but the US Tsunami Warning Centre has issued warnings of potential tsunami waves.
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that gives rise to seismic waves.
Earthquakes are caused mostly by breaking of geological faults but can also be caused by events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.
An earthquake's point of initial break is called its hypocenter or focus. The epicentre is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.
A tsunami is a series of waves in a water body caused due to the displacement of a large volume of water. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions generally cause the displacement.
Tsunamis generally consist of a series of waves known as "wave train". It consists of periods ranging from minutes to hours.
The effect of tsunamis is limited to coastal regions. The destruction can be enormous and can affect entire ocean basins.
Tsunamis have a small wave height offshore. They typically pass unnoticed at sea. They increase in height when they reach shallower water.