23 Feb 2013

4.8 quake follows spate of tremors in Hawke's Bay

3:07 pm on 23 February 2013

An overnight spate of small earthquakes in northern Hawke's Bay has been followed by two sharper jolts on Saturday morning.

The strongest, of 4.8 magnitude, occurred at 7.21am, centred 40 km south-east of Wairoa and at a depth of 67 kilometres. It was followed about 10 minutes later by a 3.4 tremor.

Smaller quakes ranging from 1.8 to 3.3 were recorded overnight south or southwest of Wairoa at depths of five to 20 kilometres, and a similar swarm occurred in the same area on Friday evening.

A resident near Mahia Peninsula, Rill Meihana, said Saturday morning's quake shook the house for a few seconds and was strong enough to wake him.

GNS Science seismologist Caroline Little said there had been 200 reports from people in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Wellington who felt the 4.8 quake.

She expects more tremors will occur but said more often than not tremors in these swarms are of similar size and there is no larger earthquake.