7.5 earthquake hits Canterbury killing two people

A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Canterbury has rocked a number of regions overnight, with tsunami waves reaching New Zealand's east coast and aftershocks causing havoc nationwide.

Two people are confirmed dead, and quakes have been recorded as far north as Pukekohe, just south of Auckland, meaning a large portion of the country has been affected by the tremors.

A tsunami warning was in place for much of the country overnight but was downgraded to a marine and beach threat shortly after 8am. The threat is in place from Napier and Hastings to the Waitaki Coast.

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