5.8 magnitude quake rocks Wellington, Central North Island

By Will Trafford

Picture / GeoNet

A strong earthquake has shook the centre of the motu, startling many in Pōneke, the Manawatū and Wairarapa.

The 5.8 magnitude quake struck at 9.07pm, and was centred 30km north-east of French Pass at a depth of 51km according to GNS.

More than 44,000 people had reported feeling the quake by around 10pm, with some as far afield as Christchurch, Motueka, Raglan and New Plymouth saying the quake was felt.

A resident from Lower Hutt told NZME it was 'a bit of rumble and then boom.'

Another person in Foxton Beach in Horowhenua reported feeling a 'very strong' shake, 'rolling for a long time'.

Chris McKay who was staying in Tuamarina in Marlborough, told Stuff he was woken up by the quake.

'You kinda think, how bad is it going to be,' McKay said.

While the quake didn't cause any damage 'It seemed to go on for quite some time'.

All the dogs in the area 'all went off' he said.

Fire and Emergency say no damage has been reported as of 9.30pm. Police have also not received any calls.

Tonight's quake follows another 4.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred 110 km north-east of Whangamata at 4.28pm today according to GeoNet.

"The quake was 225km deep and the shaking was weak close to the quake," a spokesperson said.

"The quake may have been felt in Opotiki, Tauranga, Te Aroha, Te Kaha, Thames, Whakaari/White Island, Whakatane, Whangamata, Whitianga, and surrounding localities."

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