Quake felt across central New Zealand
Residents have described feeling "woozy "and "drunk" as a deep magnitude 6.5 quake rolled across the North Island this afternoon.
"It was like a big, slow, single hoola-hoop roll-type, motion," said Wellington resident Mark Jennings. "An interesting sensation."
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GNS science said there were no initial reports of damage from the quake, which struck at 3.36pm. It was centred 150km deep, 30km west of Taupo.
Volcanologist Brad Scott said although the earthquake was centred near Taupo it was more likely to be felt on the east coast of both islands.
There had been reports of it being broadly felt along the east coast in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, but not in Taupo, he said.
Scott said the earthquake was below the plate boundary, and the volcanic zone of the central North Island would have absorbed much of the energy.
Joanne Adams, from Alton just outside Patea, in South Taranaki, said the quake was a "very mild swinging type".
"[There were] a couple of woozy swings."
Wellington's Emma Tollemache said the earthquake gave her a sensation like the floor was turning into a slide.
"It felt as though I'd had a few too many drinks," she said.
"Makes you feel for the people of Christchurch, that was just a small insight as to what they are living through."
Civil Defence had not received any reports of significant damage, a spokesman said.
Seismologist Brian Ferris said GNS was not expecting reports of damage from the quake.
The quake was in a region where earthquakes were expected, Ferris said.
"We normally get about two or three of these deep quakes each year."
Aftershocks were not expected, he said, and the earthquake was too deep to affect the volcano at Mt Ruapehu.
Stuff readers as far away as Dunedin and Christchurch said they too felt the quake.
"We thought it was quite a strange one as there was no sound just a gentle side-to-side movement," said Toni Watson, in Christchurch.
"[It was] nicer than a usual quake which feels more violent and is almost always noisy."
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 four to five seconds. It was a rolling motion not a sudden jolt."
The "#eqnz" hashtag was used extensively on Twitter in the seconds after the earthquake. Here are some tweets following the quake:
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
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
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
- STUFF and THE DOMINION POST