M6.1 earthquake hits close to New Zealand’s coast – 7,800 people report feeling the quake

M6.1 earthquake New Zealand on April 5 2021, M6.1 earthquake New Zealand on April 5 2021 map, M6.1 earthquake New Zealand on April 5 2021 video, M6.1 earthquake New Zealand on April 5 2021 photo
M6.1 earthquake hits New Zealand on April 5, 2021. Picture via GeoNet

There has been a magnitude 6.1 earthquake east of Te Araroa this evening.

GeoNet reports the moderate quake hit at 7.37pm local time at a depth of 33km and was located 120km east of Te Araroa.

More than 7800 people reported feeling it with more than 370 reporting the shaking to be moderate or stronger.

Fourth strong quake within a month

Three large earthquakes off the coast of New Zealand last month led to a tsunami threat on the coast and prompted towns to be evacuated.

A severe 7.1 magnitude quake struck 100km east of Te Araroa at 2.27am on 5 March, a tsunami warning was issued but then cancelled at about 6am.

But then another earthquake hit, this time it was a magnitude 7.4 quake about 45km near the Kermadec Islands and another tsunami warning was issued, this was followed by a magnitude 8.1 quake at a depth of 10km and also located near the Kermadec Islands.

By 1.20pm GNS advised that the main threat had passed and people who had evacuated were allowed to return home.

Now tsunami risk

GeoNet tonight tweeted that after a quake as large as the magnitude 7.3 event on 5 March, further quakes in the region could be expected. It said tonight’s 6.2 quake is the largest the region has felt since 6 March.

GNS seismologist John Ristau said tonight’s quake was part of the earlier sequence which prompted a tsunami alert and evacuations.

Earthquakes of this size you know are going to generate a few aftershocks of its own, I wouldn’t be surprising maybe if there’s going to be something like around magnitude five or something in the high fours at least for the largest aftershock, the most likely scenario is you’re going to get a few larger aftershocks again, things will pick up a bit and then things will quiet down again.

Gisborne woman Megan Griffin said she was lying on her bed watching TV and the whole bed started shaking.

I got up and I was like ‘earthquake, earthquake!’ and so all the kids came out into the doorway and we just stood in the doorway.

It was quite scary cause we had that quite big one not so long ago … and it felt like it went oh about maybe 20 or 30 seconds, it was scary, you know you’re just kind of on edge.” [RNZ]

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