5.5 earthquake hits near Taupo

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File photo / Getty Images
File photo / Getty Images

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake has struck near Taupo and was felt along the East Coast of the North Island.

The quake struck at 12:42pm, and was centred 10 km north-east of Taupo at a depth of 108km.

GNS Science data centre manager Kevin Fenaughty said the quake was unlikely to be damaging, but was widely felt on the East Coast.

"Generally the East Coast feels them stronger than directly above where it occurred because the shaking energy is transferred more effectively up the plate boundary to the east."

The East Coast of the North Island is situated where the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates intersect.

On Monday, another earthquake centred 15km south-east of Tokoroa at a depth of 195km was also felt in Hawke's Bay, and in Wellington and Nelson.

People in Hawke's Bay took to Twitter as the earthquake struck.

"That was a big one!!" wrote Dan Browne.

It was also felt as far south as Wellington.

Nick Malcolm in Wellington tweeted "Stop, cover, tweet''.

Labour MP Grant Robertson said the quake was felt strongly in Parliament.

"That was a big one. Well, felt big in Parliament House,'' he tweeted.

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