24 Sep 2015

Earthquake rattles North Island

7:58 am on 24 September 2015

An earthquake has been felt widely across the North Island this morning.

GNS map showing 'felt reports'

Where the quake was felt. Photo: GeoNet

The 5.1 magnitude quake was 167 km deep, centred 25 km south-east of Tokoroa, GNS said.

It struck at about 6.48am and has been felt in Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Wellington and in the top of the South Island.

GNS seismologist John Ristau said the depth of the quake was probably the reason it was felt so widely.

"The earthquake starts off deep and the seismic waves travel up to the surface and by the time they reach the surface they spread out over a large area," he said.

"Whereas shallow earthquakes tend to be felt very strongly, but just close to where the earthquake happened."

At least 1500 people have reported to GNS that they felt the quake.

Others took to Twitter to describe what they felt.