| 10.12,19. 07:43 PM |
Magnitude 5.3 quake hits New Zealand coast
Powerful 5.3 quake hits New Zealand coast. (GeoNet)
A powerful earthquake has hit the coast of New Zealand less than 24-hours after the country was rocked by a volcanic disaster that left at least five dead.
The magnitude 5.3 quake occurred off the coast of Gisborne, about 250kms from White Island on New Zealand's North Island where the eruption took place, GeoNet reports.
The natural disaster research group says the earthquake is unrelated to the eruption.
"Over 18000 people have filled in a felt report for this quake," GeoNet tweeted.
"This M5.3 East Coast earthquake did not generate a tsunami."
Three Australians are believed to be among the five people confirmed dead and eight more are missing after the eruption on White Island yesterday. Of the 31 people in hospital, 13 are Australians.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning said 24 Australians in total had been on White Island when it erupted yesterday at 2.11pm local time (12.11 AEDT).
The Australians had been visiting the volcano from Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.