5 Jul 2011

6.5 quake felt throughout central NZ

5:45 pm on 5 July 2011

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake centred in Taupo has been felt across much of central New Zealand on Tuesday.

The quake struck at 3.36pm, 30km from the central North Island town, at a depth of 150km.

GNS scientists say the nature of the quake, particularly its depth, means it was felt more in other places throughout the North Island than in Taupo.

Taupo District Council emergency manager Phil Parker says it was a rolling movement that lasted about 30 seconds and there are no reports of damage.

Many in Taupo did not feel the tremor at all, but it was felt by many people in Wellington, Hawke's Bay, New Plymouth and Nelson.

GNS science seismologist Brian Ferris says because the quake was so deep its shockwaves travelled more easily out along the fault than upwards, and this is why it was not strongly felt near the epicentre.

The quake occurred where the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates meet and aftershocks are unlikely from such a deep tremor, he says.