6.5M quake off NZ coast shatters windows, cuts power in capital (VIDEO)
The epicenter was located about 57 kilometers south-south-west of the capital Wellington, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake struck at a depth of approximately 14 kilometers in the Cook Strait that separates the country's North and South islands.
Tremors and aftershocks were felt as far afield as New Plymouth, Hamilton and Christchurch, local media reported.
There are reports of some damage to buildings and power lines in Wellington including damage to Wellington's parliament building.
Wellington airport was closed after the quake while the runways were checked for possible damage.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning
Center has cautioned that quakes of this magnitude in the area
may trigger destructive tsunamis along coasts located within a
hundred of kilometers of the epicenter. but no tsunami
warning was issued at this time.
The quake is the most powerful in a series or jolts, which has been rattling the region since Friday, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake was reported.
The seismic activity caused some disruption of train traffic and prompted checks of larger buildings by local authorities, but no major infrastructure damage has been reported.
“We did some building checks on Friday after the first big shake,” Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean told The New Zealand Herald. “Because the shakes are not getting to a size where they are causing obvious damage, we are just taking things slowly.”