A small earthquake has been felt by more than 4000 people in and around Wellington this evening.

Geonet reported a 3.8 magnitude earthquake 10km south-west of Wellington at 7.17pm. While light, the earthquake was shallow with the depth recorded at 40km.

Geonet had already received more than 4000 reports of the earthquake from people who felt it with the vast majority reporting it as a "light" or "weak" earthquake.

There were a number of reports from near Levin and Blenheim but most were centred around Wellington and Upper Hutt with four people in the area describing it as "extreme".