Wellington: Tsunami waves of up to a metre high are expected to batter the east of New Zealand over Thursday night after the 8.3-magnitude earthquake in Chile.
The civil defence and emergency management ministry issued a tsunami warning on Thursday for most of the east coast of New Zealand's two main islands and Chatham Islands group, Xinhua reported.
The first waves were expected to hit the Chatham Islands at about 11 p.m. on Thursday and the mainland just after midnight on Friday and they could continue for several hours.
People in the coastal areas have been warned to stay out of the water, including the sea, rivers and estuaries, eschew boating activities, and to stay off beaches and shore areas.
They have also been warned against sightseeing.
"Most of the east coast of New Zealand, including Chatham Islands, can expect wave heights of between 0.2 and 1 metre," said the warning.
"Historically, the first waves have not been the largest, and the same may be true for this event."