The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has cleared New Zealand of a tsunami threat moments after issuing a beach warning following the magnitude 7.4 earthquake near the Kermadec Islands. The earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands region at 10.55am. Civil Defence said unusually strong and hazardous currents and unpredictable surges are expected near the shore. This means a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities. The severity of currents and surges will vary within a particular coastal area and over the period this warning is in effect. Current assessments indicate that coastal inundation (flooding of land areas near the shore) is not expected but this assessment may change. Based on the preliminary earthquake parameters hazardous waves are possible for coasts within 300km of the epicentre, according to Unesco. The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, which is making the assessment alongside GNS Science, said earlier that if a tsunami has been generated in this location it is not likely to arrive in New Zealand for at least two hours. The Government agency added that only the messages it issued represent the official warning status for New Zealand. Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages do not represent the official warning status for New Zealand.