Central New Zealand shaken by strong earthquake

26 May 2011
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WELLINGTON: A deep seated earthquake measuring magnitude 6.5 struck central New Zealand on Tuesday, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences said the tremor of magnitude 6.5 struck at 3.36 p.m. (0336 GMT).

The government institute said it was centred 30 kms (18 miles) east of the holiday town of Taupo, close to the volcanically active area of Mount Ruapehu.

The quake was 150 km below ground level. New Zealand scientists record around 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which on average around 20 top magnitude 5.0.

The country has been more alert to earthquakes since the South Island city of Christchurch, was struck by two devastating quakes in September last year and in February this year. The latter killed 181 people and caused an estimated NZ$15 billion of damage.

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