5.2 earthquake fails to stir Rotorua

01:43, Jan 31 2009
ROTORUA QUAKE: The star represents the earthquake's epicentre and the blue dots the locations of reports.

An apparently sizeable earthquake struck near Rotorua this morning, but it seems to have gone largely unnoticed.

Did you feel the quake? Email us at editorial@stuff.co.nz

GNS Science recorded the quake at 5.2 on the Richter scale, centred 10km south of the city at a focal depth of 160km.

GNS data shows the quake, which struck at 3.14am, was likely to have been felt as far south as Wellington, but police in Rotorua say they were unaware of the earthquake and have had no reports of damage or incidents.

That an earthquake of that apparent magnitude was not felt was "weird," Rotorua police told Stuff.co.nz.

A Stuff.co.nz reader in Upper Hutt, north of Wellington, reported being awoken by her house creaking. She said she felt two shakes over a 10 second period.

GNS Science's Geonet.org.nz website had six reports of the quake being felt; in Churton Park, Haumoana, Hokowhitu, Stokes Valley, Tawa, Upper Hutt - but not Rotorua.

The 160km depth of the 5.2 quake is likely to be a factor in its lack of intensity. The 6.8 magnitute quake which caused widespread damage around Gisborne, despite being 50km from the city, last December was only 60km deep.

GNS Science could not be contacted for comment this morning.