6.5 quake shakes New Zealand capital

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 21, 2013 07:00 hrs

Wellington, July 21 (IANS) A 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook New Zealand's capital Wellington Sunday afternoon, following an earlier 5.8 quake in the morning and a series of smaller quakes throughout the day.

New Zealand government geological agency GNS Science said the 6.5 magnitude quake occurred at 5.09 p.m. (5.09 GMT) and was centred 30 km east of Seddon near Blenheim at a depth of 17 km. The 5.8 quake at 7.17 a.m. was also centred near Blenheim at a depth of 19 km, Xinhua reported.

GNS Science described both quakes as severe, adding that more aftershocks can be expected. Civil Defence said so far no reports of injures had been reported.

All train services around Wellington were suspended after the quakes and TranzMetro said delays can be expected. Services on the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and the Kapiti lines were replaced by bus. The Johnsonville train service has been resumed.

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake occurred beneath Cook Strait at 9.06 a.m. Friday. It was 8 km deep and lasted for about 20 seconds.

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