6.8 quake felt across New Zealand

2013-08-16 09:10

Wellington – A powerful earthquake shook major cities across New Zealand today, sending terrified office workers diving under their desks, but with no initial reports of significant damage.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck at 2.31pm (4.31am SA time) in the Cook Strait, the US Geological Survey said. It was felt from Christchurch in the South Island to Auckland in the North Island.

The USGS said it hit five kilometres east of Seddon at a depth of 10.6km, close to the centre of a series of quakes last month.

No tsunami alert was issued.

The tremor caused a violent jolt in the capital Wellington, where office workers scrambled for cover, and was followed by a series of sizable aftershocks.

“It certainly has the potential to cause damage,” a seismologist from Geoscience Australia told AFP, noting that a 6.5-magnitude quake in the same area on July 21 had caused damage.

‘This area in particular is very active in the last couple of months. This is a continuation of that activity.”

There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the July quake, with residents fearing a repeat of a devastating quake that hit Christchurch in February 2011, killing 185 people.

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

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

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.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.