New Zealand: A 6.5 magnitude earthquake rocked New Zealand’s North Island and as far south as Christchurch. The quake, which struck at 3.36 PM (GMT), was centred 150km deep, 30km west of Taupo.
Police Central Communications said it had not received any reports of damage, and nor had Taupo Civil Defence.
However, Geonet data centre spokeswoman Jennifer Coppola said the quake was the largest to strike near Taupo for a decade. The depth of the earthquake meant it was felt over a wider area than a shallow quake like the 6.3 February 22 aftershock in Christchurch.
Residents throughout the North and South Islands took to Twitter to report the quake.
|View Magnitude 6.5 quake strikes near Lake Taupo in a larger map|
According to Brad Scott, volcanologist at New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), although the earthquake was centred near Taupo it would have been felt more strongly along the East Coast, particularly the Napier through Wellington region, because of its depth. Today’s earthquake was fairly typical movement.
“We would typically have maybe two or three events around maybe 5.5 and 6 (magnitude) at about 150-200km depth a year under the North Island. It’s slightly larger than average but it’s kind of what we really expect.”