Huge 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand

‘Long and strong’ 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand shaking buildings on both islands

New Zealand has been hit by a huge 5.9 magnitude earthquake that was felt across the country where buildings shook on both islands.

The quake struck near Nueva Plymouth on the North Island, but was felt as far south as Christchurch on the South Island at 10.58am local time on Friday.

GeoNet said the quake was recorded at a depth of about 210km and was originally measured at 5.4 magnitude before being upgraded to 5.9. 

‘I was sleeping, it felt like someone was shaking the bed,’ one local in Richmond, 295km away from the epicentre said.

‘There was one jolt followed by shaking, another jolt then more shaking. It seemed to go for 15 seconds,’ another in Palmerston 160km away said.

A third closer in Hastings wrote: ‘First I felt a dropping sensation while seated. I did hear a noise. After a moment the house started swaying, lights included.’ 

A video from a supermarket in Napier showed kitchenware shaking on shelves from what witnesses said was a ‘long and strong’ tremor. 

Ruapehu Civil Defence controller Clive Manley said there were no reports of damage.

More to come.