Strong quake rocks New ZealandArchive
WELLINGTON: A strong 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand on Friday, seismologists said, panicking shoppers and residents but causing no major damage.
The quake hit at 3:36pm with its epicentre about 66 kilometres from the South Island town of Kaikoura at a depth of 55 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.
The local GeoNet monitoring service measured the quake at 6.2 and said it was felt across the entire country, but was unlikely to cause damage because it was so deep.
“I am advised that MCDEM (emergency management) hasn’t received any reports of major injuries or damage,” Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye said. There were widespread outages on landline and mobile networks, while some rail services were briefly suspended as tracks were inspected for damage.
Kaikoura District Council chief executive Stuart Grant told TVNZ the quake felt like two tremors in quick succession, describing the second as a “big jolt”.
He said the council building was evacuated as a precaution but appeared undamaged. The manager of Kaikoura’s Mitre 10 hardware store James Hills said the quake dislodged items from shelves and sent panicked customers fleeing from the building.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2015
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