GeoNet is reminding people to get information about ongoing aftershocks from reputable sources.
A post is being shared on social media suggesting that GeoNet is deliberately hiding the possibility of a larger earthquake, and that it is being muzzled by the government.
GeoNet public information manager Sara McBride said that was patently false.
Some people have used our brand & been impersonating us on social media, putting out incorrect info. Correct info at https://t.co/sYWRotJN1I— GeoNet (@geonet) November 16, 2016
She said all of GeoNet's data was publicly available on its website, and it was trying to give the best information possible.
Ms McBride said any time there was a big earthquake there would be anxiety associated with it, so she understood why rumours and speculation circulated.
She said while scientists used the best information they could to model what might happen, there was so much that was unknown that it was impossible to make a prediction.