Two quakes rattle parts of New Zealand

Two earthquakes of above magnitude 4 rumbled the country this morning, one centred near Seddon, the other at Te Anau.

The jolt from the Seddon fault was felt in Wellington, Manawatu and the upper South Island.

The 11.04am quake, centred 45 km south-east of Seddon at a depth of 39 km, measured as magnitude 4.4, GeoNet reported.

While some of their colleagues missed the shake, other office workers in Wellington felt the trembles reminding them of last year's big shakes. 

Wellingtonian Michael Mulvaney tweeted, "Oh crap, another Seddon quake. That doesn't bode well!"

But GeoNet seismologist John Ristau said today's jolt was not thought to be caused by the same fault system as the one behind last year's magnitude 6-plus tremors.

Instead, the area in question was one to the east of the South Island, where the Pacific plate is moving underneath the Australian plate, Ristau said.

A second quake today, of the same magnitude, was recorded 60km west of Te Anau and at a depth of 6km, striking at 9.44am.

A staff member at Seddon Supervalue supermarket said she felt the quake, but it was nothing compared to what Seddon residents had felt in the past.

"I had to distinguish whether it was a truck or an earthquake," she said. "It was more noise for us."

In July last year two quakes measuring 5.7 and 6.5 caused widespread damage in the Seddon region.  Just a month later a magnitude 6.6 quake based in Seddon caused damage and gridlock across Wellington.

The Southland Times