An earthquake close to Palmerston North has rocked the lower North Island.

The 4.3 magnitude quake struck 20km north-east of Eketahuna was felt by more than 3500 people, according to earthquake trackers GeoNet.

The shaking was felt as far away as Auckland and the top of the South Island.

However, the majority on the GeoNet site said they rated the quake as light or weak in force.

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The centre of the earthquake was located 22km underground.