Magnitude 4.8 earthquake hits New Zealand

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake has hit New Zealand on Thursday, with hundreds of Kiwis feeling the shake.

The earthquake hit around 15km north-east of Tūrangi, on the North Island, at 12.23pm local time.

It struck a depth of around 5km on the southern edge of Lake Taupo, residents in the nearby region of Motuoapa saying they felt their homes tremble.

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Over 1600 people reported that they had felt the earthquake within 20 minutes, on the GeoNet website, with 37 nearby residents saying the shakes were “strong”.

A local from Motuoapa – Matt West – told Stuff that he managed to grab his television while his walls were shaking.

“I managed to hold onto that,” he said.

“And that was only 4.8, imagine if we get a bigger one.”

Hundreds of others reported on GeoNet that they experienced weak to moderate shaking.

Two people said the tremors they felt were “severe” with four others claiming they felt “extreme” trembling.

Almost one hour later, a second 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit nearby, almost 20km north-east of Tūrangi, at the same depth.

Taupō Mayor David Trewavas said there were no report of damage at this stage.

Residents were quick to jump online and tweet about the tremors they felt.

This comes after various quakes hit the area overnight, with GeoNet recording nine earthquakes all within 5km of Taupō – between 2.0 to 2.9 in magnitude.

One resident claimed the 4.8 quake was the fifth one she had felt in the early hours of Thursday morning.

“Another earthquake. Rocking and rattling. 5th one I’ve felt since 1am,” she tweeted.

“Bit unnerving having cluster of earthquakes… We get mild ones all the time that are hard to distinguish from truck rumbling past. [But the] ground was moving with these ones.”

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