Quake unnoticed at centre
Residents in the lower North Island got the shakes this afternoon, even though the rumbling was centred in the Bay of Plenty where no one seemed to notice.
GeoNet reported the magnitude-5.6 quake at 1.35pm today was centred within 5km of Te Puke at a depth of 290km.
In information provided to GeoNet within the next hour or so five people in Wellington, two in Palmerston North and one in Hawke's Bay rated the quake as four, or light, on the modified Mercalli scale. No reports came from the Bay of Plenty.
GNS Science duty seismologist Mark Chadwick said deep quakes the size of the one today happened "all the time", and were often not felt by anyone.
The quake was not felt closer to where it happened because the North Island volcanic region had a tendency to reduce the shaking as seismic waves came through.
The quake was related to the subduction zone, where the Pacific tectonic plate was being pushed under the North Island, Chadwick said.
Such deep quakes tended to be felt most strongly in places such as Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Wellington as energy from the quake travelled up the subducting plate.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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