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7.4 quake near New Zealand

According to Reuters, an earthquake that rated 7.4 on the Richter scale occurred Sunday southwest of New Zealand that affected some 300 miles. Suspicion of a tsunami surfaced immediately but has now been cleared, authorities say.

The quake occurred around 6:24 p.m. local time and was felt throughout the south of New Zealand's South Island, said Warwick Smith of state agency GNS Science.

"There was initially some concern there may have been a tsunami, but that possibility has now been discounted," Smith said.

Japan's Meteorological Agency put the quake's magnitude at 7.4, while Geoscience Australia said it was 7.6.

According to the Star Tribune, the agency said there was a chance of a tsunami, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.

It occurred about 295 miles southwest of New Zealand's southernmost city of Invercargill and 125 miles northwest of the Auckland Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.