Strong quake hits

Last updated 16:30 20/01/2014
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A strong earthquake has rattled the central New Zealand this afternoon.

GNS said the magnitude-6.3 quake hit 10 km north-west of Castlepoint at a depth of 50km.

The quake was felt strongly in the Manawatu area with some people in Palmerston North reporting things toppling off their shelves. And one resident said concrete had sunk around their house.  

Heather Gowans and her partner Adrian Tutauha live in Solway, Masterton, about 40 km from quake centre.

"It was a really shaking and rolling - it went on for about 30 seconds. Adrian ran to grab the flat screen TV just in time. It just kept going and going and was swaying really bad. Everything was swaying and the place was creaking and groaning - but luckily nothing is broken."

"We were just standing talking to my partner in the hall, and we got a good fright actually," said William Lane, 57, of Palmerston North.

"I've been around for quite awhile and that'd be by far the biggest one I've felt." Lane said his dog was running in circles, his pictures were knocked askew and he felt his house buckle during the quake. He and his partner were almost knocked off his feet, he said.

Hundred of shoppers in Lower Hutt's Queensgate Mall were evacuated following the quake, which left people screaming and ducking for cover as items fell from shelves.

A giant eagle suspended from the ceiling at Wellington Airport came down during the tremor. Nobody was hurt in the incident, an airport spokesman said. The area was cordoned off.

"It's just resting there, it's all completely intact."

Further details would be released soon, she said.


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- The Marlborough Express


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