Wellingtonians and people living on the top of the South Island were shaken awake as a strong quake rattled the centre of the country this morning.

The 4.6 magnitude quake hit shortly before 3.30am, some 30km southwest of Wellington, in the Cook Strait.

More than 1500 people reported feeling the 17km-deep quake, one of thousands of aftershocks following the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck Kaikoura last week.



The quake was felt in Wellington and surrounding areas as well as parts of the top of the South Island, including Blenheim, Marlborough Sounds, Nelson and Motueka.

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The original quake on Monday November 14 caused the closure of State Highway One in Kaikoura and raised the seabed in the area by several meters.