New Zealand’s South Island was rattled on Wednesday by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake.
The quake took place at 09:14 am (2114 GMT). No reports of injuries or significant damage have so far been received.
The earthquake was initially recorded at 5.6 magnitude by the US Geological Survey. But New Zealand’s GeoNet monitoring service later revised it to 6.0.
The tremor was shallow in nature and notably occurred near Geraldine, at a focal depth of 11 km (7 miles).
Rebecca Chapman, who was working at Cafe Verde in Geraldine, shared her experience, saying, “Nothing broke, but the lights were shaking.”
The incident left some patrons distressed, particularly one who had lived through the catastrophic Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, which claimed 185 lives.
Sarah Hussey, a local farmer close to the epicentre, described the earthquake as more powerful than previous ones she had encountered. However, she reassured that there was no damage, despite her initial perception that it might have been thunder.
She recounted, “The house lifted up for a bit.”
Scott Shannon, the deputy mayor of Timaru, located near the epicentre, reported that there had been no immediate damage reports, although ongoing checks were being conducted to ensure the safety and integrity of structures in the area.
This earthquake holds significance as it stands as the largest recorded in New Zealand this year.
It struck relatively close to the site of the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2011, which had tragic consequences, causing extensive damage in the South Island city of Christchurch and claiming numerous lives.
New Zealand, situated within the Pacific Ring of Fire, is frequently subjected to seismic and volcanic activities due to the collision of tectonic plates.
The region remains vigilant in its preparedness and response to such events, aiming to minimize potential risks and safeguard its residents.