The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed that a 7.8 earthquake hit central New Zealand just after midnight, generating a tsunami and sending thousands fleeing their homes along the island nation’s eastern coast.
While injuries have been reported, no deaths have been confirmed as of yet. The extent of the damage has yet to be assessed. However, photos on social media show broken roads and shattered glass.
The epicenter was roughly 57 miles northeast of the city of Christchurch, an area that was hit previously in 2011 in which 185 people were killed.
This story is ongoing and will be updated as more information is known.