BREAKING NEWS: New Zealand rocked by strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake as a ‘powerful tremor’ strikes Wellington
- A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck 585kilometres southwest of Invercargill
- The quake was initially classified as a strong quake hitting at depth of 10km
- Tremors may have been felt in Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, and Lumsden
- The quake was followed by a 5.1 magnitude quake which was felt in Wellington
New Zealand has been rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which struck southwest of Invercargill, followed by a 5.1 magnitude quake northeast of Seddon.
The quake caused ‘moderate shaking’ reported Geonet.
Initial classifications called it a strong quake, hitting 585km southwest of Invercargill at a depth of 10km.
Tremors may have been felt in Balclutha, Gore, Invercargill, Lumsden, Roxburgh, Te Anau and Tuatapere, while the Seddon quake was felt strongly in Wellington.
New Zealand authorities have issued a reminder to ‘drop, cover, and hold’ in the event of an earthquake.
New Zealand has been rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which struck southwest of Invercargill
Reports from GeoNet (pictured) showed the second quake being felt strongly around Wellington and the Cook Strait
The second quake was strong enough to be felt in nation’s capital, as people took to social media in shock
Residents of Wellington (pictured, stock image) reported feeling the second of two quakes to hit New Zealand on Wednesday
The second quake was strong enough to be felt in nation’s capital, with Metlink Wellington reporting all trains have been stopped.
A seismologist said the two quakes – which hit exactly an hour apart – were not linked.
People took to social media in shock to report feeling the quake and to check on on their family and friends.
The more distant earthquake measured 6.1, USGS reported.
One shocked resident wrote that her city is a ‘disaster waiting to happen’ as Wellington was rocked by the latest in a long line of quakes.
‘Rocking side to side in a rocky chair: the Wellington experience,’ wrote another.
Others made light of the tremors, with one Twitter user writing: ‘Yikes that shake I thought was me moving in my seat (need to lay off the donuts…) was actually an earthquake.’
No tsunami warnings have been issued.
Seddon resident Pam Tawhara was looking up baking recipes on her computer when the quake struck, Stuff reported.
‘It felt like a normal aftershock, then I thought “bloody hell”. It was a bit scary, there was a violent, thudding jolt and it went boom, boom, boom,’ she said.
No damage was done to her home, and nothing fell from her shelves.
Another Seddon resident, Wendy Caughley, reported getting a shock when she felt the earthquake.
She says she heard the quake coming – describing it as a long, loud rumble that could have been heavy vehicles moving through an adjacent vineyard.
‘Then an ornament fell off the wall, and the dog ran outside and I ran outside too. I think we’re just going to sit out here until my husband gets home from work,’ she said.
Tim Struthers, a farmer from Seddon, reported feeling shaking during the earthquake, TVNZ reported.
‘I was outside fencing and it shook the posts in the ground, everyone at home ran for the doors,’ he said.
Mr. Struthers said his family is ‘almost immune’ to seismic activity now, having lived through numerous earthquakes in a recent years.
The first quake hit a seismically active area near a plate boundary where the Australian plate dives below the Pacific plate, the NZ Herald reported.
This boundary is called the Puysegur trench and stretches for 800km between New Zealand’s South Island and a point in the Southern Ocean 400km west of the Auckland Islands.
A similar 6.4 quake hit the trench in July, with an epicenter 190km southwest of the Snares Islands.
That quake was felt all around the South Island.