New Zealand Earthquake: Strong Earthquake of Magnitude 6.1 Hits North West of Wellington

New Zealand earthquake

A massive earthquake of magnitude 6.1 hit the north west of Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday, sending tremors through the region.

The quake struck at 7.38 pm, and according to preliminary data, the earthquake was located at a moderately shallow depth of 57.4 km. The epicentre of the quake was 50 km north-west of Paraparaumu, and it was felt by more than 31000 people who reported it on GeoNet within 15 minutes of the occurrence.

The New Zealand Civil Defence agency confirmed the earthquake, saying, “A big shake there! A magnitude 6.0, 57 km deep, 50 km north-west of Paraparaumu was widely felt in the North Island.” The earthquake was felt for 10-20 seconds, and the residents likened the shaking to a convoy of giant trucks rolling by.

Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of damage, and no tsunami warning has been issued. However, the quake comes as the cleanup gets underway from a devastating cyclone, which killed four people and caused widespread damage across the North Island. The residents are already stressed from the cyclone and the recent COVID-19 lockdown, and the earthquake added to their woes.

The Civil Defence agency urged the residents to look after themselves and the people around them. “It is already a really stressful time for people — look after yourself and the people around you,” said the civil defence agency.

New Zealand is prone to earthquakes as it is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region where several tectonic plates intersect. The country has a history of devastating earthquakes, including the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, which killed 185 people and caused extensive damage.

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