Strong early-morning quake rattles Kaikoura

Kaikoura was rattled by a 4.5 earthquake on Tuesday morning.

Kaikoura was rattled by a 4.5 earthquake on Tuesday morning.

A strong quake hit Kaikoura in the early hours of Tuesday morning, as Canterbury and Wellington continue to be rocked by tremors.

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The magnitude 4.5 quake struck at 2am, at a depth of just 8km. Its epicentre was about 35km northeast of the township. 

The earthquake was mostly felt in the upper South Island and around the Wellington region, GeoNet's website said.

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It was preceded by a moderate 4.2 quake at 1.28am, in a nearby area, while a 4.0 quake followed near Cheviot at 4.47am.

Several smaller quakes struck both the South and North Islands overnight, including a 3.6 near Kaikoura at 11.23pm, and a 3.4 in the same area at 12.48am.

At 2.01am, a moderate 3.3 quake, just 6km deep, hit near Taihape, followed by a deep 3.5 quake 35km southwest of Wellington at 2.27am.

Two magnitude 3.3 quakes hit northeast of Arthur's Pass, at 2.58am and 3.47am.

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