|Aftershocks continue in New Zealand following tremor
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand, halting train services and knocking merchandise off store shelves, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.
Radio New Zealand said 10 minutes ago, aftershocks have continued.
Flights have not been cancelled at Wellington Airport, the broadcaster reported.
The quake, which struck at 3:52pm local time, was centered on the North Island about 115 kilometers northeast of the capital city Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.
The tremor hit at a depth of 27 kilometers and was felt throughout the North and South islands. It was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks.
“I've seen the neighbors and they're a bit shaken up but apart from that no damage,'' Brian Smith of Eketahuna, near the center of the quake, told Radio New Zealand, describing the tremor as as a sharp jolt.
“My wife was outside in the garden and she said she couldn't stand up and had to sit down.''
Some houses in the small township of Eketahuna suffered broken windows and structural damage but police said there had been no reports of injuries.
Pam Lochore, wife of All Blacks great Brian Lochore, said photographs had fallen off shelves and ``a rugby ball went flying across the room'' in their home at Masterton in the North Island's south.
One casualty of the quake was a giant model eagle which fell to the ground from the roof of Wellington airport where it was being used to promote the ''Hobbit'' movie trilogy.
All train services in the Wellington region were suspended due to the quake.
New Zealand is on the boundary of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, forming part of the so-called “Ring of Fire,’’, and experiences up to 15,000 tremors a year.
A devastating 6.3-magnitude temblor in the South Island city of Christchurch in 2011 killed 185 people –one of the nation's deadliest disasters of the modern era. —AFP/The Standard