eight_col_mapCivil Defense ordered people to evacuate to higher ground as a precautionary measure following a magnitude 6.5 earthquake off the East Coast late this morning, a Te Araroa resident says. Te Araroa Four Square owner Liz Koia said Civil Defence told everyone in the small town to move to higher ground about 1km away. Everything swayed from side to side in her shop when the quake hit 155km east of Te Araroa at 11.33am, Ms Koia said. She said she understood the Civil Defence evacuation was just precautionary measure. More