Friday 23 March 2018

Strong earthquake strikes New Zealand coast

An earthquake struck about 100 miles off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island
An earthquake struck about 100 miles off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island

A strong earthquake rattled the coast of New Zealand's North Island, triggering a small tsunami but not causing any major damage or injuries.

The magnitude-7.1 quake struck just over 100 miles north-east of the city of Gisborne at a depth of 12 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It was widely felt throughout the North Island and was followed by a series of aftershocks.

Bill Martin, the owner of a holiday park in Te Araroa, a remote coastal community that was among those most affected by the quake, said he was woken by the jolt a little before 5am local time on Friday.

"It was very violent," he said. "It lasted maybe about 10 seconds but it seemed like an eternity."

He said the quake sent some of his household ornaments crashing from their shelves and knocked over bottles.

Mr Martin said many residents drove up to into the hills after emergency management authorities issued a tsunami warning, which was later cancelled.

He said the quakes caused plenty of turbulence in the ocean, but not any large waves. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii did not issue any wider tsunami warnings for the region.

The quake came a day after a magnitude-5.7 quake registered in the same area, 62 miles north-east of Te Araroa.

New Zealand sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common. A 2011 earthquake in the city of Christchurch killed 185 people and caused extensive damage.


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