Wellington earthquake's felt in Bay

By Sam Hurley

Hawke's Bay was rocked by a "severe" 6.5 magnitude earthquake which left large parts of the country shaken and areas of the capital damaged and without power yesterday afternoon.

GNS Science said the earthquake was generated from a fault in Cook Strait and estimated in the coming week there could be up to nine 5.0 magnitude or greater events, with an approximately 30 per cent probability of a 6.0 magnitude or greater.

The earthquake was centred 20km east of Seddon in Cook Strait and was the site of most of the seismic activity in the past couple of days. It was 17km deep and struck at 5.09pm. Last night One News reported four people were injured.

Earlier in the day, Hawke's Bay residents also reported to GeoNet after feeling the 7.17am 5.8 magnitude earthquake at the same location. It was 19km deep.

Strong aftershocks followed yesterday afternoon's shake and were felt throughout most of central New Zealand.

Hastings had a 3.3 magnitude quake, classed as "weak" and 45km deep, at 6.07pm.

Napier resident Robin Cowte was in his Kennedy Rd apartment block when the strongest earthquake hit just after 5pm.

"My lights were shaking and swaying all over the place and my alarm on the wall started rattling." he said.

"It was a really good shake - I walked downstairs and looked at the swimming pool and the water was spilling over and going everywhere.

"No matter where you live in New Zealand, you will have to deal with these quakes - it only took a couple of minutes for that earthquake to come up from Wellington to Napier."

Hawke's Bay Today reader Dylan Buckley was in the capital when the big one struck.

"We were in a cinema and most people sat through the big one, but as soon as we started getting strong aftershocks everyone stood up and ran out," he said.

"Heaps of sirens [are] going off all over the city."

When Hawke's Bay Today went to print, reports of damage in the Wellington region varied from falling masonry and broken windows to water leaks and stock falling from shop shelves, while glass from broken windows fell onto Lambton Quay.

Wellington TranzMetro train services were cancelled and Wellington Airport was temporarily closed while the runway was checked for damage.

There were fears its navigational aid equipment had been damaged. Some flights were delayed or cancelled .

- Hawkes Bay Today

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