There were no reports of damage in Taranaki but the quake and aftershocks were widely felt.
New Plymouth's Charles Woollin was on a conference call to Wellington when the quake struck the lower North Island.
"One of them exclaimed, ‘Oh, there is an earthquake,' and I could hear them getting under their desks.
"I counted in my head and it was about 12 to 15 seconds until it arrived here. I probably should have warned everybody in the office," said the Fairfax Editorial Services features co-ordinator, who relocated to New Plymouth from Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake.
The quake was not the largest Mr Woollin has felt. "I think the one we felt here a few weeks ago was bigger than this one today."
Christine Chatterton, of Normanby, said the earthquake was the biggest and longest she had experienced. "My husband was hanging on to a tree out in the garden where he was working. I didn't know whether I was better off inside or outside."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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