Magnitude 5.1 quake at Matawai, northwest of Gisborne

A screengrab from GeoNet shows where the quake hit.
GEONET

A screengrab from GeoNet shows where the quake hit.

A magnitude 5.1 quake has hit northwest of Gisborne, near the inland township of Matawai.

The quake struck at 3.08pm at a depth of 29 kilometres, GeoNet reported.

Its intensity was initially rated as moderate, then upgraded to strong.

Matawai, on State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki. (File photo)

Matawai, on State Highway 2 between Gisborne and Opotiki. (File photo)

Zania Barbarich, who works at Matawai's Hard Drive Cafe, described the quake as "quite little", and said she suspected it had not caused any damage in or around the township.

"It wasn't a big jolt or anything. There were three of us in the shop, and I was the only one who felt it."

She went across the road to another business, where the quake seemed to have escaped the notice of the staff member there.

"She said she quite likes earthquakes, so she was a bit bummed out that she missed it," Barbarich said.

However, her son, who was at her home about 20km inland from Matawai, told her by phone he had felt the tremor, as had a neighbour.

GeoNet initially reported a magnitude 4.6 earthquake near Martinborough, in the Wairarapa, but deleted this from the list soon after, and replaced it with the Matawai listing.

"It could have been an early location of [the Matawai one] that got shifted," GeoNet spokeswoman Caroline Little said.

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"It's location got shifted a lot. Some initial ones were felt in the Wairarapa.

"When more data came in, and after it had been reviewed by a duty seismologist, it's shifted it up to the right location."

A total of 776 people had logged felt reports, including several who reported light shaking in Auckland and Christchurch.

"We had a few strong reports. Maybe a few things would have been falling off shelves, but it wasn't a damaging quake," Little said.

"Strong" was considered around the middle of the spectrum, she said. "It's not nice to feel, but it isn't going to cause anything permanent."

 - Stuff

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