28 Jun 2009

Swarm of earthquakes in central North Island

10:15 am on 28 June 2009

Eight earthquakes shook the central North Island over a 12-hour period on Saturday.

The quakes began at 1.01am, with a tremor measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, 10 kilometres north-west of Turangi, at a depth of three kilometres.

Six further quakes shook the same location, the last at 10.54am, according to GNS Science. All were at a depth of five kilometres or less.

At 12.40pm an earthquake struck within five kilometres of Turangi , measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale.

GNS Science spokesperson Arthur Jolly says the region has been active for several weeks and the swarm is not unusual, but the quakes would have been felt because they were shallow.

Seismologists are unsure whether the earthquakes have been caused by volcanic activity or the movement of tectonic plates.