A 6.2 magnitude quake has struck 10 kilometres south east of the town of Seddon in New Zealand and has been felt in the country’s capital Wellington.
It was followed by a series of smaller quakes, including a 2.4 magnitude southeast of Seddon near the Marlborough coast, followed by a 2.6, a 2.0 quake, and a 6.2 quake that measured 10 kilometre long at 2:31pm, 5km east of Seddon.
This was closely followed by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that was 8km long at 2:37pm.
Additional quakes have also been reported, the latest of which has measured in at 5.3 magnitude, and 5km long, according to GeoNet.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the quakes have been felt as far as Hamilton, Auckland and Christchurch.
There has been reports of a house damaged in Nelson.
Twitter posts claim that trains and flights have temporarily halted.
No injuries or casualties have been confirmed.
Professor James Goff, a Leader of the Tsunami and Natural Hazards Research Group from the University of NSW said:
“The recent earthquake to hit New Zealand follows on from a series of quakes centred around the NE part of the South Island of New Zealand. GeoNet, the official source of geological hazard information for New Zealand, indicates that this was a Mag 6.2 earthquake around 8 km deep that occurred just after 2.30 pm. It follows a larger, Mag 6.5 event, that occurred on the 21 July 2013 in the same general area. I was there at the time and experienced the groundshaking associated with it.
New Zealand sits astride the tectonic boundary between the Australian and Pacific Plates and as such has experienced numerous large earthquakes in historic time. This present set of earthquakes appear to be taking place in a relatively poorly understood area of the boundary, but the proximity to Cook Strait does raise the fear of a possible local tsunami, not generated by the earthquake itself but by possible submarine landsliding (caused by the groundshaking) in Cook Strait. As noted by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre though, there is no tsunami threat to Australia. There will undoubtedly be aftershocks that follow-on from this recent earthquake.”