WELLINGTON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- A 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook New Zealand
capital Wellington and upper South Island on Sunday afternoon, following an
earlier 5.8 quake on Sunday morning and a swarm of smaller quakes throughout
New Zealand government geological agency GNS Science said the 6. 5 quake
occurred at 05:09 p.m. (05:09 GMT) and was centred 30km east of
Seddon Tevin Coleman Falcons Jersey , near
Blenheim, at a depth of 17km.
A severe earthquakes has just shaken the centre of the country followed by
Civil Defence emergency management is checking to see what damage there has
been to buildings in Wellington and the top of the South Island.
Another quake, registering 5.5, hit minutes later at 5.13 p.m. at a depth of
5 km Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey , 50 km
east of Seddon.
The major quakes are the latest in a swarm of shakes that have been hitting
the centre of the New Zealand since Friday.
Some buildings around central Wellington have sustained damage, with glass
littering several streets.
The concrete facade of a building in Featherston Street has fallen.
However, the Wellington City Council said at this stage there appears to be
no significant damage.
Staff are meeting with the regional council civil defence team, and talking
to the fire service and the police to determine the level of response.
A spokesperson told Radio New Zealand it expects to release more information
about what residents should do within the next hour.
In the meantime Deion Jones Falcons Jersey , the council said residents need
to take care and remain calm, adding that buildings will all be inspected once
it's known where there is damage.
Telecommunication companies are switching to battery power and sirens have
been sounding in central Wellington.
Electricity is reported to be out in suburban Karori.
At Wellington Airport, the main runway has been closed for a routine
All trains from Otaki in the north to Blenheim in the south, including the
capital Keanu Neal Falcons Jersey , have been
suspended until further notice.
Kiwirail said it is carrying out track inspections, but if the aftershocks
continue all commuter and freight trains may be suspended for some time.
A 5.8 quake was centred 30km east of Seddon, near Blenheim, at a depth of
19km at 7.17a.m. on Sunday.
It was preceded by a magnitude 4.2 quake at 7.05 a.m. at a depth of
GNS Science earlier said more aftershocks can be expected and the chance of
a bigger quake is also possible.
Civil Defence said no problems have been reported.
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