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Moderate quake rocks New Zealand

world Updated: Sep 01, 2008 08:42 IST
AFP
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A moderate earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rattled the central North Island of New Zealand on Monday but there were no early reports of casualties or significant damage, scientists said.

The earthquake 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of the tourist centre of Taupo was focused at a depth of 80 kilometres and struck at 1:21 pm (0121 GMT), earthquake monitor GNS Science said.

The quake was likely to have been felt throughout the central North Island, GNS Science said.

Earthquakes are frequent in New Zealand, where the boundaries of continental plates meet as part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", causing earthquakes and volcanic activity.

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