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Moderate quake rocks New Zealand

A moderately strong earthquake has rocked New Zealand's southern region, but there are no immediate reports of injury or damage.

world Updated: Jul 12, 2008 11:59 IST

A moderately strong earthquake has rocked New Zealand's southern region, but there are no immediate reports of injury or damage.

Government-owned geological agency GNS Science says the magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit at about noon Saturday and was centered off the west coast of South Island.

It says the quake shook cities in the southern region only moderately because of its depth 60 miles (100 kilometers) below the Earth's surface.

New Zealand sits above an area where the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates are colliding and records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year. Only about 150 are felt by people and fewer than 10 a year do any damage.