The strength of this morning's 7.1 earthquake centred off the East Coast cut power to 1000 homes in Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Horizon Energy network general manager Derek Caudwell says the power outages were further compounded by a car crash just before the quake at Edgecumbe about 2.30am, which initially cut power to 47 customers on Matata Rd, between Edgecumbe and Awaiti Rd.

The strength of the quake at 4.39am then cut power to 1000 customers in the White Pine Bush Rd area between Whakatane and Opotiki.

Caudwell says power was restored to high voltage earthquake-affected areas at 5am, while a further 58 customers had their power restored at 9.22am.


Caudwell says field crews are currently working through a number of isolated low voltage outages across the Opotiki district with power expected to be restored by 1pm.

However, those affected by the car crash on Awaiti Rd North and Sutherlands Rd will remain without power until 2pm.

Caudwell told the Herald the power outage was caused by power lines swinging due to the earthquake, clashing together and then coming down.

He says the shake was strongly felt in the area.

"This one was a lot stronger than other ones we normally expect."