7.0-magnitude quake rattles New Zealand
Posted on July 4, 2012, Wednesday
WELLINGTON: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hitting off New Zealand North Island’s south Taranaki coast Tuesday was the largest of the region in more than 100 years, Xinhua News quoted New Zealand government geological agency GNS Science as saying on Wednesday.
New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS Science) said the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck at 10.36pm local time on Tuesday. It was centred out to sea, 60 km south of North Island town of Opunake and 170 km northwest of the capital of Wellington.
The quake was felt from Napier to Dunedin, but there have been no reports of damage.
Residents in Wellington reported being startled by shakes, which lasted for about 15 seconds.
Some said the shakes were strong enough to topple household appliances, but the central Fire Service communications centre said it had received no reports of earthquake-related damage.
Residents in the North Island have described it as a long rumbling sensation and a jolt, followed by more rolling.
A magnitude 4.6 aftershock occurred in the same area at 10.45pm, centred 70 km south of Opunake and 160 km north-west of Wellington.
Taranaki Regional Council senior emergency manager Shane Briggs said although it didn’t cause any damage, it was a serious shake for Taranaki where earthquakes are rare, Radio New Zealand reported. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurs in the New Zealand region on average once every three years, GNS Science says.