Offshore Quake, South Taranaki Bight

A deep magnitude five earthquake struck beneath the Tasman Sea in the South Taranaki Bight, early this morning.

Saturday 12th June 2010

A magnitude 5.3 undersea earthquake struck the South Taranaki Bight at 2:20 this morning. The quake was centred 80 km north of French Pass, 90 km south of Opunake, 160 km north-west of Wellington at a depth of 170 km.

The deep earthquake was felt from Taranaki to Nelson and Marlborough attracting 85 reports from the public by midday. Damage was not reported or expected.

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck the same area at the same depth on the 15th of July last year. The 9:38 p.m. quake struck 16 minutes after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Dusky Sound, causing damage in southern parts of the South Island. The close timing of both quakes made it difficult for seismologists to assign reports from the public to each event. However, last year’s South Taranaki Bight event was felt throughout the southern part of the North Island attracting nearly 500 reports from the public.

Another magnitude five earthquake struck the South Pacific this morning. The unrelated magnitude 5.0 quake was centred 485 km north-north-east of Raoul Island. The 8:55 a.m. quake was shallow, at a depth of 22 km.

[Compiled from data provided by the GeoNet project and its sponsors EQC, GNS Science and FRST; and the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

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