Big quake shakes central New Zealand

19:15, Jul 21 2013
A Geonet map showing the epicentres of many of this morning's quakes
ALL SHOOK UP: A Geonet map showing the epicentres of many of this morning's quakes.

The large quake that rocked central New Zealand caused minor damage in Manawatu, theatre evacuations and Wellington-bound planes to divert to Palmerston North.

Aftershocks from the magnitude 6.5 quake that struck at 5.09pm on Sunday were continuing after the shake, with a 5.5 magnitude hitting within minutes.

Aftershocks were continuing following the 6.5 shake struck at 5.09pm at a depth of 11km, 30km east of Seddon - near Marlborough.

A 5.5 magnitude quake hit within minutes of the larger quake.

See full up-to-date coverage here

Aftershocks continue to rumble from the same area, and a 4.4 quake struck at 5.14pm, 15 kilometres north of Hunterville.


Palmerston North fire service were not called out to any jobs as a result of the quake, and power was not cut off to any part of Manawatu.

There were various reports of stock falling off shelves in both New World and Countdown supermarkets in Feilding, along with various Palmerston North supermarkets, but staff said there had been no significant damage.

Theatre goers were evacuated from The Regent near the end of a production of The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss II.

Some flights were diverted from Wellington to Palmerston North Airport over fears navigational equipment at the capital's airport had been damaged during the shakes.

Fairfax employee Clive Lind was on a flight from Christchurch to Wellington which was in the air when the quakes hit.

''We got to about the Cook Straight and they said 'Oops, there's just been an earthquake and we can't land until they check things out'.''

The plane then circled above Wellington for some time before passengers were told they were diverting to Palmerston North, he said.

''The canteens [at Palmerston North Airport] have done marvellous business.''

Buses were taking passengers from Palmerston North to the capital.

People in Manawatu certainly felt the shake and took to the Manawatu Standard's Facebook page to share their experiences.

Rebecca-Kynan Bright said she felt it in Marton.

''Our fish tank was sloshing all over. Family ducking for cover.''

Gina-Marie Fanning said it felt strong in Palmerston North.

''It went on for so long that I went under the door for cover, but my 12-year-old son wouldn't get off the computer until I growled at him to get off.''

Kate Wilkie: ''That was pretty big the house shook sideways for ages! Stood in the doorway gonna have the torch next to bed tonight!''

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway posted on his page that it was the biggest quake he had ever felt in Palmerston North. ''Look after each other.'