New Zealand earthquake – Huge 6.1 magnitude tremor rocks Wellington as nation recovers from cyclone | The Sun

NEW Zealand was rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake today as the nation reels from a devastating cyclone.

The quake was centred around the capital of Wellington on the north island shortly after 7.30pm local time.

It struck at a depth of 48km with the epicentre 50km from the town of Paraparaumu, government seismic monitor Geonet said.

It classed the quake as "strong" after it hit the islands with a sudden jolt – followed by 30 seconds of shaking. 

New Zealand's Civil Defence agency said: "A big shake there!"

There were no immediate reports of damage, and no tsunami warning has been issued.

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Residents reported feeling the ground shaking for 10 to 20 seconds – comparing it to a convoy of giant trucks rolling by.

Other Kiwis described the quake as "massive" and "scary".

David Haxton told the New Zealand Herald: “It was like a freight train hurtling past our house.

"My wife, our two kids, and I quickly gathered under a doorway and waited for the shaking to subside.

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"It felt like it lasted for about 30 seconds. Everyone’s heartbeats were racing.

"The family dog was more interested in the food on our dinner plates as we scarpered to the doorway."

One flight from Auckland to Wellington was stopped from landing after the quake.

The captain reportedly told passengers: "As if a cyclone wasn’t enough, Wellington has now been struck by a moderate quake."

It comes a day after New Zealand declared a national state of emergency due to widespread flooding and damage from Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle. 

The powerful cyclone cut a trail of destruction across the North Island this week – leaving at least four people dead, and thousands displaced.

New Zealand lies on the seismically active "Ring of Fire" – a huge arc of volcanoes and ocean trenches covering much of the Pacific Ocean.

An earthquake in Christchurch on the South Island in 2011 killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

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