The East Cape has been rattled by another large aftershock this afternoon.

The "severe" magnitude 5.5 quake occurred about 70km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 12km, according to GeoNet.

The agency said 125 people had reported feeling the shake.

It is one of dozens of aftershocks to shake the region following yesterday's magnitude 7.1 quake, which was felt by tens of thousands of people throughout the North Island when it hit at 4.37am.


A potential tsunami threat notice was not issued until 5.33am and a request for an emergency announcement to be broadcast was made at 5.58am.

There were no reports of injuries but house walls were cracked and there was damage to private water supplies in Gisborne.

According to the Earthquake Commission, there were 48 insurance claims made in relation to the earthquake as of yesterday afternoon.

With aftershocks continuing and damage still being assessed that number was expected to rise.

The Insurance Council New Zealand, which deals with commercial claims and those exceeding $100,000, said it had not had any reports of large-scale commercial claims.

However, it could not confirm at this stage whether it had received any other claims.

Power was cut to about 1000 homes in Eastern Bay of Plenty and several schools in the region were closed as a result of the earthquake.

GNS seismologist John Ristau said it was the biggest quake to hit the area in 20 years and lasted nearly a minute.