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Earthquake rocks New Zealand, no damage

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit central New Zealand early on Thursday.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 10:00 IST

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale hit central New Zealand early on Thursday, a government seismologist said.

Police received no immediate reports of injury or damage.

The quake, recorded at 1.15 am, was centred 80 kilometres northeast of Collingwood on South Island.

The earthquake was felt across central New Zealand, Geological and Nuclear Sciences duty seismologist Geoff Clitheroe said.

Clitheroe said that while it originated very deep below the Earth's surface, "it wasn't strongly felt, it was a very gentle shake."

New Zealand sits above an area where the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates are colliding, resulting in more than 14,000 earthquakes a year.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 10:00 IST