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Strong 6.3-earthquake jolts New Zealand: USGS

WELLINGTON - A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand Monday, jolting buildings and halting train services, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

The quake, which struck at 3:52 pm (0252 GMT), was centred in the North Island about 115 kilometres (71 miles) northeast of the capital city Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

The tremor hit at a depth of 27 kilometres and was widely felt throughout the North and South islands. It was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks.

"I’ve seen the neighbours and they’re a bit shaken up but apart from that no damage," Brian Smith of Eketahuna, near the centre of the quake, told Radio New Zealand, describing the tremor as as a sharp jolt.

"My wife was outside in the garden and she said she couldn’t stand up and had to sit down."

New Zealand’s GeoNet put the quake at a magnitude of 6.2, but had it at a shallower depth of 10 kilometres.

AFP


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