The Bay was rattled by a cluster of weak earthquakes early yesterday morning. GeoNet reported the total of 11 tremors were all near Porangahau at a depth of 20km or less.

The most powerful was a moderate-strength magnitude 3.8 earthquake which struck at about 6.15am.

A total of 10 people reported feeling the moderate quake.

A 3.1 magnitude quake struck at 6.38am, a 2.5 magnitude quake at 7.32am and a 3 magnitude quake at 8.02am.


As of about 7pm last night, GeoNet said the settlement had experienced 13 small quakes in the past 14 hours.

The manager of Porangahau's Duke of Edinburgh Hotel said there was no damage at all, although he did feel a slight shake in the early hours of yesterday.

Karen Hill of Porangahau said she was dreaming about an earthquake when she woke up and realised one was happening.

"It was quite scary but after a few seconds it was clearly just a baby, so I went back to sleep."

A number of locals took to social media to discuss the shakes and the possibility of a mega quake hitting the region.

Axel Alexander: "The thing is guys and girls you just have to be prepared.

"There aren't more earthquakes happening just that more people are aware of the ones that do happen because of social media.

"Regardless of whether there are lot of small ones doesn't mean the 'Big One' will or won't strike."

Julie Shortland: "Can't fight mother nature ... she always wins no matter how much cotton wool you have. What will be, will be."

Elle Vaughan: "Those ones aren't that big. Hawke's Bay has had bigger. Just don't want to be in city centre if a big one hits." Brenda Anderson-Coley: "Tent, groundsheet, a sleeping bag, warm blankets, raincoat, solid shoes to walk over broken glass, towels, first aid and compact tool kit, spare batteries, torches and candles ... are you prepared?"

GeoNet locates about 20,000 earthquakes in and around New Zealand each year. Most of these are small but about 250 are big enough to be felt.

GeoNet reports that the likelihood of a large quake has not increased because of the quake cluster.

"Although large earthquakes are sometimes preceded by smaller associated earthquakes, swarms of seismic activity do not necessarily indicate that a large earthquake is to follow."