Three powerful earthquakes struck off the coast of New Zealand, triggering tsunami warnings that were later stood down.
Evacuation orders were issued for residents living in coastal areas of the North Island after the third and strongest earthquake hit.
The national emergency agency warned of a tsunami threat along the east coast.
There were reports of chaos in some towns as hundreds of people tried to reach higher ground.
Authorities said the largest waves had passed and residents were told they could return home but were warned to stay off beaches.