Thousands rocked by 4.9-magnitude earthquake in New Zealand

·2-min read

New Zealand has been rocked by a 4.9-magnitude earthquake.

Thousands of Kiwis in Hawke's Bay, located on the east coast of the North Island, reported the earthquake just before 5pm local time on Saturday.

"A shaky start to Saturday evening for folks across the North Island with a M4.9 earthquake in the Hawkes Bay causing moderate shaking," earthquake monitoring agency GeoNet tweeted.

A map showing where the 4.9-magnitude earthquake was felt on New Zealand's North Island. Source: GeoNet
Thousands of people have reported feeling a moderate 4.9-magnitude earthquake near Waipukurau in Hawke's Bay. Source: GeoNet

"The earthquake was 37km deep and we have received over 6000 felt reports."

The epicentre was five kilometres north of Waipukurau, a small town southwest of Napier on New Zealand's North Island.

It was the strongest onshore earthquake in New Zealand for 11 months.

Residents dispute 'moderate' rating

Some people disagreed with GeoNet's rating of it being a "moderate earthquake", taking to social media with their experiences.

"That was not moderate by any means. The whole house was moving! Big jolts and shaking," Ashleigh Manning wrote on Twitter.

"Omg! Massive jolt and shaking here in Marewa Napier. Gave me a heck of a fright," one user wrote.

"We had stuff fall off shelves, heard it for ages before it got here," another chimed in.

"Everything shook for a second," someone else added.

"We heard it coming and it was a shock like something hit the building," Twitter user Grant Seton wrote.

"Covid Delta outbreak, terror attack in Auckland, but sure, let's just throw an earthquake into the mix," an exasperated user wrote.

There have been no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the earthquake. 

However, it could be several hours or days until authorities can conduct comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas. 

Residents have been told to plan accordingly for aftershocks. 

with AAP

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