6.5 earthquake shakes Wellington

A graphic showing the impact of the quake.
A graphic showing the impact of the quake.

A long, rolling 6.5-magnitude earthquake left people shaken and unsettled in the lower North Island today.

Workers and residents across the Wellington reported feeling a short, sharp jolt followed by a rumbling when the quake hit at  3.36pm.

A Geo Net report said the quake hit at 3.36pm at a depth of 150km and was centred 30km west of Taupo.

A map showing where the quake was centred, about 30km west of Taupo.
A map showing where the quake was centred, about 30km west of Taupo.

Did you feel the earthquake? Contact us with your story at news@dompost.co.nz

Wellington City Council said there were no immediate reports of damage and Civil Defence had also not received any reports of significant damage.

A short jolt was followed by rumbling for about 10 seconds.

It was felt in Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier and Blenheim.

Brian Ferris, of Geonet, said they were not expecting reports of damage from the quake, although it was felt widely.

The quake was in a region where earthquake were expected, Ferris said.

"We normally get about two or three of these deep quakes each year."

Aftershocks were not expected, he said. The earthquake was too deep to affect Mt Ruapehu.

Related story: Big quake would cripple Wellington

Related story: Wellington's earthquake-prone buildings 

Taupo District Council emergency manager Phil Parker said a quake of that depth was unlikely to have damaged properties.

"We have not had any reports of damage so far, but many have reported feeling a small tremor. We will continue to monitor the situation."

In Wellington The Boulcott Bistro posted a tweet saying: "That rattled the walls of Boulcott Street Bistro. The champagne glasses are now 'cheers'ing each other. Clink, clink."


At Wellington Central Library bookshelves swayed, but no books were dislodged.




Terri Burling said she was in a filing room at Hutt Valley District Health Board when the quake hit, and the walls moved!

"It lasted about 4-5 seconds.  It was a rolling motion not a sudden jolt."

Mark Jennings said he had been in Wellington for ten years and today's quake was the strongest he had felt.

"[It was] an interesting sensation compared to the previous ones here."

"This quake made the house roll in an anti clockwise sensation. Like a big, slow, single hoola hoop role type motion."

 Sharlene Wairau, from Wairoa in the Hawke's Bay described the quake as "strong,hard and long".l

 "[I was in the shed at the time. Raining all day as well [and] when it finished the birds were chirping."

The #eqnz hashtag was used extensively on Twitter in the seconds after the earthquake.


gear_shift Heather Le Grice
ahhhhh that was bloody scary #eqnz wellington. Building stopped shaking but I have not

megcarryn  Kristine Bryant
felt that in Wanganui #eqnz

lizmwilson  Liz Wilson
#eqnz didn't feel that good on Thorndon Quay #wellington

Nomad_writer  Fraser Crichton
Eeek! RT @geonet: #eqnz felt here in Wellington. Current guesstimations are a deep North Island event in the mid 5s...

txtjono  Jono Tucker
Felt that shake pretty strong on the 6th floor of Featherston St in Wellington. Not cool. Keen to find out where it was based. #eqnz

chblibraries  chblibraries
Felt that in Hawkes Bay as well #eqnz

darkheartdsires  dark heart
whoa felt that = was AT Daughters school in lower hutt , good olt here in the hutt ! #eqnz felt like a 4-5 Wow a 6.5 thats amazing #eqnz

TracieAlmond  Tracie Almond
We did not enjoy that 6.5 #eqnz here in Wellington. Cups of tea were spilled.

iamjordanking  Jordan King
here at Parliament we nearly got under our desks :s #eqnz

RitchOC  Ritch OC
Earthquake!!! That was a biggie...6.5! Ran out house here in Kapiti. Still shaking... Me that is...There goes tonight's sleep. #eqnz

The Dominion Post