Powerful 6.8-magnitude quake strikes off New Zealand; no immediate reports of damage

New Zealand's Civil Defence says that there was no tsunami threat from the quake.


A strong earthquake of 6.8 magnitude struck south of New Zealand's South Island on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. However, the authorities said that there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage from the quake.

According to USGS, the quake hit 196 km northwest of the Auckland Islands and more than 475km from the mainland, at a depth of 10 km. New Zealand's Civil Defence said that there was no tsunami threat from the quake.

"Based on the information we have there could be light to moderate shaking in the southern South Island," Geoscience Australia duty seismologist Greg Breen told Channel NewsAsia. "But no damage is expected."

A few Twitter users in Invercargill and Dunedin posted that they felt the tremor. But, in an interview with the stuff.co.nz news website, a Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said that they did not receive any call asking for help.

New Zealand is located on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, which is a part of the "Pacific Ring of Fire", and hence it experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.