Strong 6.3-earthquake jolts New Zealand
Publish Date: Jan 20, 2014
  • mail
  • img

WELLINGTON - A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand Monday, halting train services and knocking merchandises 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."

Some houses in the small township of Eketahuna suffered broken windows and structural damage but police said there had been no reports of injuries.

Pam Lochore, wife of All Blacks great Brian Lochore, said photographs had fallen off shelves and "a rugby ball went flying across the room" in their home at Masterton in the North Island's south.

One casualty of the quake was a giant model eagle which fell to the ground from the roof of Wellington airport where it was being used to promote the "Hobbit" movie trilogy.

All train services in the Wellington region were suspended due to the quake.

New Zealand is on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, forming part of the so-called "Ring of Fire", and experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.

A devastating 6.3-magnitude temblor in the South Island city of Christchurch in 2011 killed 185 people -- one of the nation's deadliest disasters of the modern era.

Wellington was the scene of the country's most powerful earthquake in 1855.

That devastating 8.2-magnitude quake caused four deaths and changed the city's entire geography, pushing the shoreline out 200 metres (660 feet) as it thrust the harbour floor upwards.


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Syrian paper recounts rescue of downed Russian pilot
Syrian special forces launched an operation "behind enemy lines" to rescue the surviving crew member of a Russian warplane downed by Turkey, Syria's Al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday....
US Republicans move to dump Trump
Many say the populist crazy talk is typical of the White House primaries, but Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's increasingly incendiary remarks are leading some conservatives to brand him a "fascist" and party rivals to ramp up attacks against him....
IS claims deadly Tunisia bus bombing
The Islamic State group on Wednesday claimed the bombing of a presidential guard bus in the Tunisian capital that killed at least 12 people....
Kenyan president fires five graft-tainted ministers
President Uhuru Kenyatta fired five government ministers embroiled in corruption scandals in a cabinet reshuffle late Tuesday amid growing criticism of runaway graft in Kenya....
Germany to send 650 troops to Mali to relieve France
Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against the Islamic State jihadists....
Nigeria faces separatist pressure over oil wealth sharing
When Boko Haram captured territory in Nigeria's northeast last year and declared a caliphate, there were real fears for the sovereignty of Africa's most populous nation....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter