Magnitude 5.7 earthquake jolts Wellington

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook Wellington on Tuesday.

The quake jolted the New Zealand capital city at around 1:38pm, felt by thousands of people, from Dunedin to Auckland. It was widely felt between Wellington and Christchurch.

According to the countries earthquake monitoring service, the epicentre was 35km southeast of St Arnaud, a small town north of South Island.

New Zealand lies on the boundary between the Austral ia-Pacific tectonic plate boundary, making quakes common in the country. In 2011, a 6.3 magnitude quake jolted the Canterbury region, resulting in 200 deaths.

Stuff reported that the quake was centred near the Molesworth Airport–“inland from Kaikoura and 45km southeast of St Arnaud, in the Nelson Lakes District. It struck 48km below the surface, according to the latest estimate.”

GNS Science duty seismologist Anna Kaiser said that there could be aftershocks up to magnitude 4.7.

She told reporters: “Although it was a decent sized shake, and it certainly would have been felt by people around that epicentral region, it is in a reasonably remote area … so we don’t expect any major damage from the earthquake.”

No injuries or significant damages were reported. The situation continues to be monitored.

“We advise people to look out for each other and friends and family, especially those who are alone, infirm or elderly and who need support,” said St John spokesman Ian Henderson.

“Our civil defence team are monitoring the situation,” said the council on Facebook. “This does serve as a good reminder for us all to check on the status of household emergency kits and family safety plans.”