A 'rollercoaster ride'
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Nerves might need a little mending rather than buildings and other items after last night's 7.0 quake.
According to GNS Science seismologist Lara Bland, the tremor, centred 230km deep and 60km south of Opunake, was the largest to strike the Taranaki Bight area for 100-120 years.
The long, rolling action had a few people running for doorways or diving to catch the odd plate, but apart from that there was little damage reported around the region.
Bland said the 10.36pm quake and the 4.6 aftershock nine minutes later were related to the subduction zone where the Pacific tectonic plate was being driven under the Australian plate.
The quake probably happened on the Pacific plate, which dipped down deeply, she said, occurring because the plate was hard and brittle.
For others, the quake was simply a novel, if frightening, experience.
Kelly from Waitara was working on her computer when the quake struck.
''The desk,was shaking and computer was swaying. The floor felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride.''
Shaz, who lives seven kilometres out of Inglewood, said it was ''kinda like being up the top of a macrocarpa tree in the wind, which I've done in days of yore. Yes, freaky stuff.''
Lisa appears to have had the biggest fright.
''I was sitting on the toilet when the earthquake hit last night. I live in Eltham and I was so scared as I was almost rocked off the toilet.
''I interrupted my business and ran up to the bedroom to my fiancaacé in the bedroom. I was so terrified.''
She has yet to report whether she was able to complete ''her business''.
Marea Faigan, from Lower Lepper Rd, near Inglewood, said she had never felt anything like it in her life.
"It just kept going and going," she said.
"The cupboards were rattling and I grabbed hold of the door frame to steady myself. I just felt I needed to hold on to something," she said.
One night worker from Wellington said she and her colleagues felt the quake rock their building.
Taranaki Civil defence senior emergency management officer Shane Briggs said he had been in contact with the Fire Service and the Ministry of Civil Defence but there had been no reports of any damage.
Oil company Shell Exploration said the quake had not damaged the Maui A and Maui B drilling platforms off the Taranaki coast, Radio New Zealand reported.
Taranaki Daily News