New Zealand is hit by third huge earthquake in weeks

New Zealand has been rocked by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake just weeks after two earlier tremors hit. The quake hit the little town of Seddon, near Kaikoura, at a depth of just 17 kilometres.

Residents as far away as Christchurch, 500 kilometres from the epicentre were reporting that they felt shaking. Wellington resident Schariona Parker-Poto said that the shaking was quite gentle before becoming more intense. She said she and her mother quickly rushed outside, fearing that the building they were in could be damaged. According to reports, the shaking latest for between 15 and 40 seconds.

Darryn McKenzie, who owns Awatere Accommodation in Seddon, said the area was used to earthquakes since being hit by a major tremor three years ago. Locals are still repairing damage done in earlier quakes, and have tried to secure furniture and household appliances in a bid to prevent any further damage.

Drop, cover and hold

New Zealand residents have been given the advice to remember to “drop, cover and hold” during each quake, and to remain indoors. The warning comes because aftershocks are due to hit the affected region today.

This latest quake comes just a few weeks after two tremors hit New Zealand, in the Cheviot area, between Christchurch and Kaikoura. Those tremors measures 6.3 and 7.8 magnitude, and more than 1,000 tourists and residents were evacuated from the pretty seaside resort of Kaikoura by helicopter and a naval vessel following the quakes, which caused major damage. Two people were killed in the quakes and houses and roads were damaged.



So far, there have been no reports of any fatalities in the latest quake, although officials are now urging people to check on their loved ones, particularly those who live by themselves, or who are frail or ill. Train services were delayed during the quake, but are now understood to be returning to normal.



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