Huge 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand


‘Long and strong’ 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand shaking buildings on both islands

  • The quake truck near Nueva Plymouth on the North Island at 10.58am 
  • GeoNet said the earthquake was recorded at a depth of about 210km 
  • ‘It felt like someone was shaking the bed,’ one local 295km away said 










New Zealand has been hit by a huge 5.9 magnitude earthquake that was felt across the country – with buildings shaking on both islands.

The quake struck near Nueva Plymouth on the North Island, but was felt as far south as Christchurch on the South Island, at 10.58am local time on Friday.

GeoNet said the quake was recorded at a depth of about 210km and was originally measured at 5.4 magnitude before being upgraded to 5.9. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was left briefly rattled by the tremor, which struck as she was addressing the nation for a Covid-19 update.

Pictured: The epicentre of Friday's earthquake near Nueva Plymouth on New Zealand's North Island. Geonet said the quake was recorded at a depth of about 210km and was felt across the country

Pictured: The epicentre of Friday’s earthquake near Nueva Plymouth on New Zealand’s North Island. Geonet said the quake was recorded at a depth of about 210km and was felt across the country

Ms Ardern briefly grabbed her podium when the shaking began, smiled, and told a reporter asking a question: ‘Sorry, a slight distraction … would you mind repeating that question?’

She told reporters at the end of the event that Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, who was also on the stage, was not entirely convinced it was an earthquake and wondered if it was just strong wind blowing.

One local in Richmond, 295km away from the epicentre said the quake ‘felt like someone was shaking the bed’.

‘There was one jolt followed by shaking, another jolt then more shaking. It seemed to go for 15 seconds,’ another in Palmerston 160km away said.

A third closer in Hastings wrote: ‘First I felt a dropping sensation while seated. I did hear a noise. After a moment the house started swaying, lights included.’ 

A video from a supermarket in Napier showed kitchenware shaking on shelves from what witnesses said was a ‘long and strong’ tremor. 

Ruapehu Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said there were no reports of damage.

More to come

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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