WELLINGTON: A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand Monday, halting train services and knocking merchandise off shelves, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.
The quake, which struck at 3:52pm (0252 GMT), was centred in the North Island about 115 kilometres (71 miles) northeast of the capital city Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.
The tremor hit at a depth of 27 kilometres and was widely felt throughout the North and South islands. It was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks.
“I’ve seen the neighbours and they’re a bit shaken up but apart from that no damage,” Brian Smith of Eketahuna, near the centre of the quake, told Radio New Zealand, describing the tremor as as a sharp jolt. “My wife was outside in the garden and she said she couldn’t stand up and had to sit down.”
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