The temblor, which hit at a depth of 34 kilometres at the New Zealand-administered volcanic island group, was some 870 kilometres from the nearest major city Whangarei, in New Zealand, according to the US Geological Survey.

"Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected," the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. The Kermadec Islands are located roughly equidistant to New Zealand's North Island and the Pacific nation of Tonga, and are uninhabited except for a permanent weather, radio and conservation station on Raoul Island.

They are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a hotbed of volcanic and earthquake activity at the intersection of several tectonic plates. The Kermadecs frequently see large tremors, including three quakes in excess of 7.0-magnitude in 2011.

(Agencies)

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