A powerful earthquake struck New Zealand near the city of Christchurch, with strong jolts felt over 120 miles away in the capital, Wellington, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck just after midnight and was centered 57 miles northeast of Christchurch, according to the USGS.

The New Zealand Civil Defense issued a tsunami warning for the eastern coast of the country, including Christchurch, Wellington and the Chatham Islands, and warned anyone near the coast to move to higher ground.

The earthquake was at a relatively shallow depth of 6 miles, according to the USGS. Earthquakes tend to be more strongly felt on the surface when they’re shallow.

New Zealand sits on the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.

Anna Kaiser, a seismologist at GNS Science said a tidal signal or surge of up to one meter, had been recorded in North Canterbury region of the South Island.

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