5.8 earthquake on New Zealand North Island

35km-deep quake strikes 20km east of Pongaroa on NZ North Island
35km-deep quake strikes 20km east of Pongaroa on NZ North Island

A HUGE quake that rocked the lower North Island this evening has been upgraded to magnitude 5.8.

GeoNet said the "severe" intensity quake struck 15km east of Pongaroa, on the east coast near the border between Wairarapa and Manawatu, at 9.05pm.

The quake was 24km deep.

The quake was felt in many parts of the central and lower North Island and top of the South Island.

Residents have reported feeling it in the following areas:

• Blenheim
• Napier
• Wellington
• Taranaki
• Hawkes Bay including Hastings
• New Plymouth
• Masterton
• Feilding
• Kuratau Northwest of Turangi
• Whanganui
• Waitomo
• Taupo
• Paraparaumu
• Palmerston North

Peter Te Rangi said he felt it strongly in Palmerston North while Paul O'Shaughnessy described it as Short and sharp in Te Awanga Hawkes Bay.

Napier resident Kay Noel said it "continued for a good 8 seconds".

A Havelock North resident said "it went for 30-40 seconds swaying the curtains. Glass flexed in the window frames. Low frequency noise".

John Booth, the Mayor of Carterton District, said the earthquake "Gave the old farm house a good rock and roll,feel like I'm on a boat".

Doug Drummond said "We are in takapau wow strong it was!! I jumped out of bed and panicked checked son and under doorway".

Dave Hastie, manager of the Whakataki Hotel, which is located several kilometres south of where the quake was centred, was sitting in the pub at the time.

He initially thought it was just a blustery wind.

"It was one of the better ones," he says. "I thought of dashing outside."

Mr Hastie says it was pretty short-lived and only lasted about 30 seconds.

Twitter users have reported feeling the quake in main centres throughout the lower and central North Island, including Palmerston North, Wellington, Napier and Whanganui.

Deborah Russell in Palmerston North tweeted: "Whoah! Rocking and rolling in Palmerston North. The house seemed to keep on swaying forever. #eqnz"

Labour MP Grant Robertson said: "definite #eqnz in Wellington."

Twitter user @IslandBayGirl said: "was pretty gentle but definitely a quake... #eqnz"

Also in Palmerston North, Jono Hale said: "Massive quake in PN! Whole house shock and rattled! #eqnz"

Rachel Stewart tweeted: "Long and wobbly in Whanganui #eqnz".

Tracie Almond said: "Heart rate gradually returning to normal after that creaky quake just felt in Wellington."

Topics:  earthquake editors picks new zealand

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