Distant quake gives Hawke's Bay a shake up

By Morgan Tait, Lawrence Gullery

Aftershocks are unlikely after the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Hawke's Bay yesterday afternoon, experts say.

The quake was widely felt in the Bay, despite being 195km deep and more than 250km away.

Centred 15km southeast of Tokoroa, the 1.05pm quake shook the central and lower North Island, with numerous Hawke's Bay Today readers reporting it on social media.

GNS Science duty seismologist John Ristau said deeper earthquakes were widely felt but less likely to cause aftershocks.

"Deep earthquakes like this tend not to really generate aftershocks," he said. "If they do, they tend to be small because they are so deep."

The way energy from deep earthquakes travelled meant they were felt further away, Mr Ristau said.

"Large deep earthquakes like that tend to be felt a long distance away from the epicentre rather than close by. It takes some distance for the energy to travel up to the surface."

He said the location of Hawke's Bay, near the intersecting Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, also made it susceptible to feeling the shaking from earthquakes.

Hawke's Bay Today readers reported feeling swaying, jolts and shoves. Nicola Truuts said her workplace in Onekawa "seemed to sway for a while" and Fiona Flyger said it was like "a fast shove".

Mara Jane Tamatea said her house "swayed quite nicely and for a noticeable length of time," and Brabyn Kerei described it as a "sharp, wavy jolt" in Paharakeke.

Napier City Council and Hastings District Council said there were no reports of damage in the cities. Hawke's Bay Regional Council issued a safety reminder to residents.

Hawke's Bay emergency management group co-ordinator Nigel Simpson said residents were encouraged to use the quake as a reminder that large earthquakes could occur at any time.

"Drop, cover and hold as until the shaking is over we don't know how strong or long the earthquake will last," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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