New Zealand struck by quake


A strong earthquake struck off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island today, shaking residents across a wide area and toppling goods from shelves.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or injury.

The 7.0 magnitude quake was centred 170km northwest of the capital Wellington at a depth of 230km, the national GeoNet website reported.

The US Geological Service earlier reported the tremor at a 6.2 magnitude. There was no tsunami warning issued.

The quake was felt throughout central New Zealand, sparking a flurry of activity on social network sites, but local media reported only minor damage.

"It was a good shake but we see no damage. I felt the whole building shake," said a spokeswoman at the Opunake police station, some 60km from the epicentre.

</p> <p>Christchurch, the New Zealand's second-largest city, is still recovering from a shallow quake measuring 6.3 which killed 182 people in February last year and caused some NZ$20 billion (€11.5 billion) in damage.</p> <p>Large areas of Christchurch’s central business district were off-limits for months after the February quake, which toppled the city’s famous cathedral, as well as shops, homes and office buildings.<br/> <br/> About 6,000 homes in the city were condemned after the earthquake.</p>