A light earthquake which rocked the Wellington region this evening shocked locals.

Nearly 15,000 people reportedly felt the 4.0 magnitude quake which struck at a depth of 25km around 9.58pm, according to Geonet.

It struck within 5km of Porirua with the majority of people who felt the quake living within the Wellington region.

Apparently, one person in Invercargill, two in Dunedin and several in Auckland, as far away as Whangaparaoa, also felt the quake.


Residents in the Hutt Valley, Kāpiti Coast and Wellington city said they could hear the quake rumbling before the shaking started.

The loud rumble but light shake surprised many with social media users taking to the keyboard to express their shock.

"Was super loud then the smallest jolt. Thought it was going to be big from the sound," said a Facebook user.

"Only a 4.0? It felt a lot larger than that," asked another.

"Woah a 4.0 feels like that? I thought I was having heart palpitations," one more claimed.

Elsewhere, other people saw the more humorous side of the light shaking.

"Hello to everyone else who's come to Twitter to check if that was an earthquake or a very intense gust of wind," someone wrote.

"That was your friendly reminder to refresh your emergency water supply and check your other supplies. The chocolate probably needs replacing/eating," said another.


"I'm only here two more weeks, I am not dying in this hovel," Tweeted another.

Region by region of earthquake-affected areas
'High risk' megathrust quake expected off Hawke's Bay

Last week, an arrivals ferry terminal in Wellington was closed because of an earthquake risk.

From Wednesday, Interislander passengers arriving in the city would be re-routed through the Departures Hall.

The building was 23 per cent of the new building standard (NBS), a CentrePort spokesman confirmed.

Buildings with an NBS rating of less than 34 per cent are considered earthquake-prone.

The closure was expected to have little impact on passengers, who will now arrive via terminal forecourt areas and the departures hall, which had a higher earthquake safety standard.

KiwiRail and CentrePort apologised for the disruption but said safety was their priority.

In late August, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake rocked the top of the South Island and lower North Island, striking 30km away from Seddon.

GeoNet classified the quake as "moderate", however, a few people have reported its strength as extreme, severe or strong.

More than 3000 people have reported feeling the quake - from as far away as Dunedin and as far north as Auckland.

However, most of those who reported the quake are located around Blenheim and Wellington.