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Earthquake rattles New Zealand's North Island, widespread shaking felt

Sunday, September 27th 2020, 2:10 pm - The shaking was widely felt, though no serious damage has been reported.

New Zealand's North Island has been struck by an earthquake that produced shaking as far away as the capital, Wellington, and Auckland, the country's largest city.

The earthquake, which struck in the central part of the island near Mount Ruapehu at 4:47 p.m. Sunday, local time, at a depth of 35.8 km.

Though initially given ratings in the high Magnitude 4 or low Magnitude 5 range, the U.S. Geological Service says the official rating for the quake was Magnitude 4.7.

New Zealand Quake

Though not strong enough to cause any significant damage or trigger a tsunami, the quake was still shallow enough for shaking to felt relatively far afield. In New Plymouth, on the coast to the west, an eight-storey office building was seen shaking for 45 seconds.

Small landslides were reported on some roadways, though not enough to close them down, and a brief evacuation was reported at a chateau near Mount Ruapehu.

New Zealand is a seismically and volcanically active country, with frequent earthquakes. The deadliest in recent years was a Magnitude 6.2 tremor in 2011 that killed almost 200 people.

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