Wellington's 6.5 earthquake rattles nerves

By Sonya Bateson


Katikati's Kassi Smith took cover when a 6.5 magnitude quake rattled Wellington yesterday.

"I could hear things falling in the garage beside me and could see everything around me shaking. Definitely a scary experience. But everyone here is safe," the Massey University student said.

The quake, which was centred 30km east of Seddon, the site of all the seismic activity in the last couple of days, was 11km deep and struck at 5.09pm. At least 30 earthquakes were felt in the region since 5am.

Victoria University student Zac Nicholson, 18, said he was sitting in the common room of his halls of residence when the quake hit. "It went for about 30 seconds, it wasn't too violent. I've felt four in the last few days, that was probably the biggest. Everyone was kind of shocked when it happened, no one was too upset by it but there are people that are a bit freaked out. "There are a few cracks in the paint on the walls in some rooms."

Mr Nicholson, a former Otumoetai College student, said people had been gathering in doorways and a couple of girls had climbed under desks, waiting for the quake to finish.

"There are some people here from Christchurch, this didn't faze them. It freaked me out a little bit but I'm fine now it has settled down. We're being told there could be more, we filled up some water bottles in case the water gets turned off."

He was in a 14-storey building and couldn't feel much swaying, but thought people higher up may have been more affected.

Julie Taylor grew up in Tauranga and has been living in Newtown for almost eight years. Her Tauranga father was also staying with her when the quake struck. She said the earthquake was "pretty epic" and she could hear it coming.

"We could see the house swaying and the mirror on the wall was moving. Dad was sitting on the couch and I could see it moving to and fro. It was definitely the worst earthquake I've ever felt, and Dad says that it felt at least as strong as the Edgecumbe earthquake."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a notice at 5.40pm which said it was unlikely the quake had caused a tsunami. The National Crisis Management Centre was not activated.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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