Quake hits islands at bottom of South Island

The untouched and pristine islands are considered an important conservation area. Photo / Richard Robinson
The untouched and pristine islands are considered an important conservation area. Photo / Richard Robinson

A severe earthquake has hit a group of islands at the bottom of the South Island.

According to Geonet, the 5.2 magnitude quake, which was 13km deep and which struck at 8.26am, was centred 85km northwest of the Snares islands.

The islands, about 100km southwest of Stewart Island, are the closest of New Zealand's subantarctic islands to the mainland.

The untouched and pristine islands are considered an important conservation area.

Helen Cave of Stewart Island's South Sea Hotel said she was usually quite sensitive to earthquakes, however she didn't feel this one.

A couple of people in the hotel this morning said they felt a minor jolt, Ms Cave said.

Another Stewart Island resident, who declined to be named, said the earthquake lasted a couple of seconds and "wasn't really significant at all".

"My husband didn't even feel it."

- APNZ

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