Severe 5.3 quake strikes West Coast

21:51, Aug 30 2012

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake at a depth of just 5km has hit the West Coast.

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GeoNet said the 7.38am quake was centred 40km southwest of Haast, and about 10km inland from the fishing port of Jackson Bay.

GNS Science described the earthquake's intensity as severe and reported it had been felt as far afield as Dunedin.

More than 270 people had this morning reported they felt the quake to GeoNet.

Of those, five considered the quake "strong", while 29 thought it was "weak".


The remainder classified the quake under the category "largely observed".

Mary Gray felt the earthquake in Clyde, Central Otago.

"We were still in bed, with our morning tea and the paper when the first quivers started, followed by a definite shaking of several seconds," she said.

"As 'refugees' from Christchurch we're probably super-sensitive to quake movements, and didn't enjoy it one bit!"

Lauren Sleeman said:  "It was a decent shake but thankfully not the abrupt, jarring, break-things type, more the big rumble type.

"There is no wind on this beautiful morning here in Wanaka but the trees swayed as if in a wee breeze!"

Eamonnd Johnston, of Johnston Motors, was in his Haast Junction home at the time of the shake.

He described it as "hardly even a wobble".

"It was just a rumble and a rattle and it was over before I realised what it was," he said.

Johnston said it did not cause any damage to his home or the town as far as he knew.