The Latest on a strong earthquake that has struck near Christchurch, New Zealand (all times local):

2:10 a.m.

New Zealand authorities say a powerful earthquake has generated a tsunami, with the first waves hitting the South Island.

The department of civil defense warned people all along the country's east coast to move to higher ground.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck just after midnight Sunday near the city of Christchurch. It was at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Some minor damage was reported in the capital, Wellington, over 200 kilometers (120 miles) away. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries in Christchurch.