6 Mar 2021

East Coast continues to shake with 6.1 aftershock

3:50 pm on 6 March 2021

The east coast of New Zealand is continuing to feel strong aftershocks today following yesterday's earthquakes.

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Photo: GNS Science

There have been 15 aftershocks with a magnitude higher than four since 4.45am today.

The biggest included a 5.4 magnitude quake which struck 125km east of Te Araroa at a depth of 12km just after 10.30am; and a 6.1 magnitude quake which hit at a depth of 33km in the same area just after 1.15pm.

Most of the quakes were marked either as weak or unnoticeable, although the 1.15pm one was listed as moderate by GeoNet.

Hundreds have reported feeling the shakes on the GeoNet website.

GNS seismologist Dr Matt Gerstenberger said the continuing earthquakes are normal but people should still stay vigilant about the danger of a tsunami.

He said about 100 quakes greater than magnitude four have been recorded around Te Araroa and at the Kermadec Islands since the three major quakes yesterday.

"We had fairly substantial large earthquakes that occurred yesterday and they set set things up in the crust and the crust settles down and you have lots of smaller earthquakes as that happens."

Dr Gerstenberger said the most likely scenario in the next 30 days is that further quakes of smaller magnitude will occur - and less often.

"We expect there to be more earthquakes occurring and there's still a chance that these will be felt or that they could produce tsunamis.

"So everybody should still be vigilant and pay attention and [act on] 'long strong get gone'; pay attention to the emergency management alerts."

Warning from surf lifesavers

Surf lifesavers are urging people to check with the latest Civil Defence information before heading into the water today.

The tsunami alerts that were activated after yesterday's earthquakes near the Kermadec Islands were cancelled yesterday afternoon and Civil Defence also said the threat to beach and marine areas has passed.

But Surf Lifesaving manager for the northern region, Ali Peach, said people should still take extra precautions today.

"Where possible, to choose to swim at a beach that has lifeguards. Talk to the lifeguards before you go in the water. If you're ever unsure or in doubt just don't go into the water and where possible, swim with somebody else."

Peach said Civil Defence can provide the most up-to-date information about ocean conditions today.

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