Katie Holland is the Rotorua Daily Post deputy editor

Wellington earthquake felt in Rotorua

A severe earthquake that rocked central New Zealand shook up many in Rotorua and has left at least one former resident on edge.

The 6.5 magnitude quake struck at 5.09pm yesterday and was centred in Cook Strait, 20km east of the Marlborough town of Seddon.

Former Rotorua woman Kristy Martin, the ministerial secretary to MP Todd McClay, was in her central Wellington apartment when the quake hit.

"All of a sudden it just started shaking," she said. "We [me and my flatmate] ran under a doorway, it freaked us out."

She said Wellington people had been "on edge" since the spate of earthquakes began on Friday.

Ms Martin, a former Rotorua Daily Post reporter, described the quake as "rolly and shaky" and said it seemed to go on for a couple of minutes.

"It went for long enough for me to think 'oh my God it's going to turn into a big one'."

The only damage to her home was a couple of smashed pictures that fell off the wall.

Ms Martin said straight after the quake she and her flatmate discussed an emergency plan and an emergency kit. As the aftershocks continued last night she could hear emergency sirens throughout the city.

"I do feel a little bit nervous."

On the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page, several people reported feeling the quake in Rotorua and Taupo.

"Felt it in Ngongotaha. My vertical blinds swayed big time. The quake went on for minutes and certainly made me feel sick and dizzy," posted Lucy Layne.

Jennifer Sosich posted "Yes, felt very dizzy, swayed in NGO. Hope all are ok down south" while Rotorua's Maria Mills said "Yes, we felt that!! Pictures on the wall were shaking!!"

Jasmine Adams, owner of the Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park on Pukuatua St, said she felt nauseous.

"I was sitting at the table and felt quite sick. I get motion sickness. All the lights were swaying so I filmed it. I was freaking out so we got the children out and waited for it to stop."

Mrs Adams, who said she had felt earthquakes before, had recently updated the park's fire and evacuation plans. "Now it's made us think about our personal emergency kit," she said.

Rotorua District Council emergency management co-ordinator Pauline Hitchcock said the quake was a timely reminder that no one could be complacent when it came to nature.

She said Rotorua people should have an emergency plan, a survival kit and a getaway kit in case they needed to evacuate.

"You need those three things for when it does happen - not if it happens," she said.

"There are several fault lines in the Bay of Plenty - it could be us."

Visit www.getthru.govt.nz or call the council for advice on how to prepare.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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