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Moderate quake rattles New Zealand capital

world Updated: Aug 28, 2009 08:19 IST

AFP
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A moderate 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck near the New Zealand capital Wellington early Friday but there were no reports of damage, authorities said.

The quake, which hit at 2:10 am (1410 GMT Thursday) was centred 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Wellington at a depth of 30 kilometres, government agency GNS Science said.

Police said they were inundated by calls from people wanting more information on the quake but had received no reports of damage.

GNS Science seismologist Ken Gledhill said the earthquake was felt in the Wellington region.

No tsunami alert was issued.

Earthquakes are frequent in New Zealand, where the boundaries of the Pacific and Australian continental plates meet on part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire."

A remote area in the country's southwest was struck last month by a major 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which caused no casualties and little damage.