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Thousands feel the earth move more than once

A strong earthquake and aftershock shook the North Island yesterday morning.

GeoNet reported the magnitude 5.9 earthquake stuck near Porangahau in the lower North Island at 10.16am yesterday morning at a depth of 22km.

It was followed three minutes later by a magnitude 5.3 aftershock, which had a depth of 15km.

GeoNet reports showed light shaking was felt as far away as in Invercargill.

The majority of Wairarapa residents who reported feeling the earthquake to GeoNet described light or moderate shaking, with only a few reporting it as severe.

A similar response was elicited by the magnitude 5.3 aftershock.

On GeoNet’s website, about 22,100 people reported having felt the earthquake, and about 20,800 reported feeling the aftershock.

The National Emergency Management Agency confirmed yesterday that there was no resulting tsunami risk.

Dozens more aftershocks followed, which is typical for earthquakes of this size, according to GeoNet.

Those who reported feeling the earthquakes as long or strong and consequently evacuated to higher ground were “applauded” by GeoNet for acting quickly and following its ‘Long or Strong, Get Gone’ advice: “During strong earthquake events, people are advised to head to higher ground if they feel shaking that is long or strong and follow the instructions of their local Civil Defence.”

GeoNet emphasised the two earthquakes did not invoke a tsunami threat.

However, it said a landslide could be triggered by heavy rain or earthquakes, with homes near hills or steep slopes most at risk.

“If you live near a hill or steep slope, watch out for cracks or movement that could be a warning sign.”

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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