Wellingtonians were shaken awake by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake early this morning.

The 27km deep tremor struck 20km southwest of the capital at 2.39am, GNS Science said.

Some on Twitter said they had been woken by the earthquake.

"I wish earthquakes would have the decency to occur during the day. Rattling the house at 2.40am is just selfish," Colin Ellis said.

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