New Zealand's north island hit by quake

A strong earthquake has struck off the coast of New Zealand's North Island but there have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake, first reported as 6.3 magnitude but later downgraded to 5.6, was centred about 200 kilometres northeast of the capital Wellington, according to the US Geological Survey. It was at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning.

New Zealand was last week hit with a powerful magnitude 7.8 quake near the coastal South Island town of Kaikoura that killed two people.

New Zealand sits on the Ring of Fire, an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common. An earthquake in Christchurch five years ago killed 185 people.

It came as a 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Fukushima in northern Japan and generated a 1.4 metre tsunami around Sendai.